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In the Final Report on attacks on members of the South African Police, dated 21 April 1994, the Commission also adverted to the stage that the inquiry into the murder of members of the Inkatha Freedom Party had reached. In the 99 cases reviewed till then no evidence at all had been found linking members of the ANC and MK to the murders. Since then a further number of the remaining 41 cases has been reviewed with the same result.Consequently, the Commission is satisfied that, having examined a large proportion of the total of 140 cases, it could not find evidence to support the allegation of a systematic policy by the ANC and MK to murder leaders of the
On 11 September 1993 the Commission announced an inquiry into the effects of public violence and intimidation on children. This inquiry was eventually to cover meetings with key organisations and individuals, expert research and a survey of 300 organisations and monitoring agencies, culminating in a preliminary report of some 200 pages which the Commission received on 10 August 1994 from a working committee appointed to advise it.The Working Committee then appointed an Advisory Panel of six experts to deliberate on the preliminary report and propose recommendations. Annexure 2 is the result of these deliberations.The Commission is grateful to all persons and organisations who participated in the inquiry and especially to the members of the Advisory Panel for all the work and thought dedicated to this subject. The Commission expresses the hope that the discussion and recommendations contained in the attached report will be helpful in reducing conflict and in resolving problems for children suffering from the effects of violence. ooOoo106 served by a further inquiry by the Commission which may, at any rate,adversely affect the pending judicial procedures.

Following the interim report of the Commission, dated 18 March 1994, on criminal political violence by elements of the South African Police Force, the KwaZulu Police Force and the Inkatha Freedom Party, an international team of investigators headed by the Attorney-General of Transvaal was appointed.Since the investigation of crime and the prosecution of offenders is the prerogative of the appropriate authorities and falls outside the mandate of the
Commission, it considers that it has no further role to play in regard to the matters concerning the above report. The Commission has consistently passed on to the appropriate authorities all relevant information coming into its possession. The information set out in the report of 18 March 1994 has thus far led to several other criminal prosecutions, including that against Eugene
Alexander de Kock. The work of the international team has not yet been completed. In these circumstances it would be inappropriate to add to the report.On 18 March 1994 the Commission also presented the first and second interim reports of the Wallis Committee, mandated to ascertain whether there were any incidents of violence arising out of causes other than political rivalry between the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party. The
committee encountered various obstacles and could consequently not achieve conclusive results. The Commission welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Safety and Security that a special investigation team has been appointed which, inter alia, will follow up the work of the Wallis Committee.
In pursuance of suggestions contained in a report to the United Nations, which were accepted by the then South African Government, the African National Congress and other parties, committees of the Commission investigated certain aspects of public and private security forces and armies. It is a matter of regret that, with the exception of detailed reports from the South African Police, and the South African Defence Force, and insufficient response by other interested parties and the march time and events precluded
the Commission from investigating the full range of security forces and armies in South Africa.105 By March 1993, a year after the inquiry had commenced, the evidence of 35 witnesses, which ran to 4 500 typed pages, had been received. Sixteen of these witnesses, whose evidence comprised 1 247 pages of record, had testified to the conduct of the South African Police in three separate incidents at the height of the “taxi war” in Cape Town. The evidence had been tendered to support or refute allegations that their conduct had been a contributory cause of the taxi war because policemen had either physically taken part on the side of WEBTA [Western Cape Black Taxi Association] in acts of violence perpetrated against LAGUNYA [Langa, Gugulethu and Nyanga Taxi Association]
or had failed to take action to enforce the law when acts of violence had been committed in their presence or had been reported to them. Time was needed to investigate and receive evidence of further incidents regarding these allegations. Since this was the only remaining aspect to be completed in the inquiry, it was deemed expedient because of ongoing taxi conflict and the time taken by the inquiry up to that stage to adjourn in order to compile and
present the fifth interim report dealing with all the other aspects of the terms of reference which had been traversed during the inquiry into violence in the taxi industry. That fifth interim report comprised 107 pages, more than half of which were devoted to recommendations. As it happened, serious difficulties were experienced in finding opportunities to continue the inquiry, due, inter alia, to the unavailability of counsel or witnesses or the unsuitability of dates.The continuation of the inquiry was eventually overtaken by events of national importance in the country, including the transformation of the police services,
their policies and training programmes, and eventually by the termination of the Commission. The committee is of the view that any further investigation of the past history of alleged violence through acts of commission or omission by members of the South African Police Force, will at this juncture fall more naturally and
appropriately within the purview of the proposed commission for truth and reconciliation. The records of the inquiry are available to such a commission.

The Commission, in its report of 21 April 1994, made no findings and recommended that, when further evidence and statements had been made available to it, it would determine the terms of reference for a committee.Subsequent to the report the Minister of Safety and Security announced in Parliament that members or supporters of the ANC had fired the first shots. Civil claims have been instituted in the courts as a result of the shootings. The Commission is of the view that these events have overtaken any purpose to be104

Released: 27 October 1994 R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)The recommendations contained in the Fifth Interim Report that the Commission should terminate with the expiry of the terms of office of its members has been accepted. The Commission will consequently close its doors on 27 October 1994.During its three year life-span the Commission, in terms of its founding Act, No139 of 1991, presented 47 reports, usually following public inquiries,containing a large number of recommendations.The Institute for the Study of Public Violence has been registered as the”Human Rights Institute of South Africa” (HURISA). The Commission believesthat the Institute’s decision to focus on human rights in South Africa comes at an appropriate time and that the Institute with its excellent facilities will render a unique contribution in the development of such a culture.

The Appellate Division has not yet adjudicated upon the petition for leave to appeal by the accused in the criminal trial following upon the massacre.The Commission considers it inappropriate to submit a report while the matter is still sub judice. The presentation of a report on the inquiry by the Commission into the Boipatong massacre will therefore have to stand over until the criminal proceedings have run their course, even if it eventuates after the termination of the Commission.The Commission also investigated an allegation that members of “Koevoet”, stationed at Greenside Collieries, had been involved in the Boipatong
massacre. The report of that investigation will stand over for the same reasons mention in the preceding paragraph.
In the fifth interim report on the inquiry into public violence and intimidation in the taxi (or minibus) industry, the committee stated that “[t]his comprehensive report … would have been the final report but for … the role played by the South African Police in the taxi violence in Cape Town”.103 The National Co-ordinating Committee should be substantially funded by State
government, and we support the provisional application for funds which we understand has been made to the Social Relief Fund of the Department of Welfare.102

Released: 27 October 1994
A statutory independent office of Children’s Rights Commissioner should be established to promote the rights and interests of South African children, who have no vote and no say in the political process; similar and linked commissioners should be appointed in the provinces. A feasibility study,reviewing similar developments in other countries (eg the Norwegian children’s ombuds person, Australian Children’s Interests Bureau, New Zealand Commissioner for Children) and proposing a model appropriate to South Africa should be commissioned. The role of commissioners would encompass but go far wider than the problems of violence involving children. The major role would be to encourage effective implementation of the UN Convention. The commissioners would need to be independent of government, and to have legal powers of investigation. Relevant Government departments should be required to consult and pay due consideration to the Commissioner’s views on policy development for children. The Inquiry Report reflected a strong view from organisations that there is a need for one or more co-ordinating bodies and proposed a National Coordinating Committee consisting of individuals from major organisations and institutions and relevant government departments. It is quite clear that the needs of children affected by violence far outstrip the current availability of services. The purpose of such a central body or bodies is not to control work at community and grassroots level but to enable and support, to seek to ensure that there is communication between projects, cross-pollination of ideas, and that the most effective use is made of available resources. The Advisory Panel echoes the Inquiry Report’s recommendation and hopes that the foundation for a National Co-ordinating Committee and Violence can be laid at the Working Forum. We emphasise that its name and its functions, and its relationship to existing organisations may require further debate. The Committee could perhaps, a suggested in the Inquiry Report, have aninitial three-year life, and re-evaluate its functions and progress towards the end of this period. The emphasis of the Committee’s functions and work must be devolving responsibility and empowering and supporting local projects and
communities. It must not replicate or duplicate the work of any existing body.101 important to the associations themselves and the taxi industry in regard to the next two paragraphs.It is recommended that the community structures at Ezibeleni meet with QTA and resolve the situation which led to the community boycott being instituted against the erstwhile ETA. As a result of the boycott the unlawful transport trade in bakkies started and it is understood that it has expanded even after the inquiry. This is a direct result of approval initially given by SANCO (see page 8: paragraph 2.5.3). Not only do these unlawful operators take bread
from the mouths of legitimate taxi operators, but the growth of the unlawful bakkie transport will build up tension. If violence ensues from this tension, it will engulf Ezibeleni. Something that started from a desire to assist the community will end in disaster for that same community unless prompt and decisive action is taken. SANCO, therefore, has a responsibility to themselves,the community and the local taxi industry forthwith to address the resolution of the situation and lift the boycott. The community of Ezibeleni must be requested by community structures and others to desist from commuting in the bakkies. Law enforcement agencies will probably have to mount a concerted and consistent exercise to ensure the
cessation of the unlawful bakkie transport. Uncedo is urged to abandon its policy of allowing long distance taxis to ply
locally while waiting for their long distance return loads to fill up. CODETA, QTA and LFTA are respectively urged to enter negotiations to obtain resolutions relating to the use of routes and ranks.100 the starting point to the destination but return empty. This is wasteful and should be resolved through negotiation.

Because of overtrading and other reasons spelt out in previous reports entry into the taxi industry should be regulated by the Department of Transport. The taxi industry itself in Queenstown as elsewhere should also guard against irregular entry and trading: this they should do by reporting such irregularities to law enforcement authorities and not by taking the law into their own hands. It is recommended that the South African Police Service in the Eastern Cape should bend every effort to obtain jurisdiction in the previously independent states of Transkei and Ciskei. The continued inability of the South African Police Service to carry out law enforcement in those areas assists and encourages wrongdoers and frustrates communities and police alike.It was clear from some of the allegations against the police at the inquiry and
the adequate replies to those allegations given later during the inquiry thatgood feedback by the law enforcement authorities, including SAPS and the local traffic department, cleared up many misunderstandings and incorrect perceptions about law enforcement. The Committee is convinced that if good communications were practised consistently by bodies policing the community this form of transparency will enhance the image of the police. The Municipality of Queenstown is urged to take its service to the community even further by undertaking a feasibility study on the adequacy of ranks and facilities.The joint structures committee of Ezibeleni, chaired by Mr Mangqongwane, was given certain tasks to undertake. Unfortunately the committee had not, at the time of the inquiry, completed the tasks. To the extent that these tasks do not
overlap with other initiatives it is hoped that the joint structures committee will complete its tasks as requested at the inquiry (see paragraph 2.5.7 at page 10 above). At the time of the inquiry Uncedo and QTA had engaged in talks regarding the common use of the route between Ezibeleni and Queenstown (Page 10:
paragraph 2.5.8). These associations are urged to continue those talks until asuccessful accommodation is reached. Such an accommodation is particularly99

Released: 24 August 1994
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); M N S Sithole; S van Zyl
This is a further inquiry in the series dealing with violence within the minibus
industry in a particular area. It was instituted in response to a request which
was received from the members of the Ezibeleni Taxi Association (now merged
with Queenstown Taxi Association) while the Committee was engaged in the
inquiry at Bisho during May, 1994. Efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution of
the situation had reached an impasse and the members felt that an inquiry into
the situation at Queenstown and the surrounding areas was indicated.
Queenstown, the centre of the Border hinterland, is the largest town between
East London and Bloemfontein and is well known as an educational, business,
industrial, agricultural and administrative centre. It is well connected to larger
centres by major road and rail networks and is also connected to smaller towns
in the region by road. Inhabitants of this part of the Border region as well as
large areas in the Transkei and Ciskei visit Queenstown for business and other
purposes. As a matter of fact, facilities in certain towns, townships and villages
are so limited that the inhabitants of these areas must visit Queenstown for
virtually all their needs. Many residents of Ezibeleni and Ilinge in the Transkei
and Lesseyton in Queenstown District are employed in Queenstown and must
of necessity travel to and from Queenstown on a daily basis. Many passengers
to main centres must travel to Queenstown for road and rail links and even
passengers from one centre to another must in many cases travel via
Queenstown. In these circumstances regular and reliable transport between
Queenstown and all the aforementioned areas is essential.
A few railway buses still operate but passengers undertaking long distance
trips to other parts of the country are to a large extent dependent upon
minibuses. In spite of the fact that three different Transport Acts of the two
independent homelands and South Africa regulated these operations, a thriving
minibus industry developed in Queenstown and the surrounding towns.
After the failure of the attempted mediation between LFTA and the Van
Heerdens violence broke out during which a number of persons from both
camps were killed before the Van Heerdens left Lady Frere to settle in
Queenstown. Friction arose between LFTA and QTA because the latter had
accepted the Van Heerdens as members without consulting the former. As a
result taxis travel between Queenstown and Lady Frere taking passengers from98
Released: 10 August 1994
The Goldstone Commission Inquiry into the Effects of Public Violence on
Children can be seen as a crucial initial step in this process of initiating a
national programme for the rehabilitation of South African children. This
inquiry should not be seen as a negation of the efforts undertaken by many
organisations and individuals to intervene meaningfully in the lives of children.
Rather, its objective is to draw vital information from a number of sources in
order to (i) map the present levels of public violence in this country as it
affects children; (ii) gauge the present status of resource allocation and service
delivery to those who are exposed (directly/indirectly) to violence; and (iii)
synthesise the findings of existing research regarding the effects of political
violence on children.
These three levels of analysis will culminate in the presentation of concrete
recommendations needed to address the plight of children effectively.
The inquiry is underpinned and driven by a policy of transparency and broad
consultation. A wide range of key organisations and individuals have been, and
are still being, consulted regarding what needs to be done for children.97
Released: 26 July 1994
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); M N S Sithole; S van Zyl
Until recently, the official position was that King William’s Town was situated in
the Republic of South Africa whereas areas such as Zwelitsha, Dimbaza,
Mdantsane, Keiskammahoek, Peddie etc. were situated in the Ciskei. Thus
many an entrepreneur among black people in residential areas on the
periphery of King William’s town, faced with the reality of rapid urbanisation
and the demand for jobs as the economic situation worsened, turned to the
taxi industry for survival, disregarding the political boundaries of the area. This
fact, coupled with the failure of the political authorities to provide facilities for
mass transport, especially after the demise of the SAR commuter bus service,
resulted in the proliferation of the pirate taxi business in the area. This
obviously had to lead to a scramble for lucrative routes and ranks by various
taxi owners and associations with competition and tensions inevitably building
A taxi conflict has sporadically erupted in violence in and around King William’s
Town for the last few years, and did so again in November and December
1993. The main contenders in the conflict are the Border Alliance Taxi
Association and the King William’s Town Taxi Forum.
The Committee recommends the establishment of an independent body with
powers of inquiry similar to that of the Goldstone Commission and a mandate
which will allow it to mediate and assist in conflict resolution has an essential
role to play for the foreseeable future in assisting the taxi industry to forswear
violent conflict and embrace negotiation as a means of resolution of problems.96
Released: 30 May 1994
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
In terms of section 3 of the Act the Chairman and the four members were
appointed for the statutory period of three years. Those appointments will
terminate in October 1994.
The Commission and the trustees of the Institute have resolved that the
Institute should now become and independent non-governmental organisation.
It is also proposed that its field of operation be extended to cover all aspects of
human rights in South Africa.
It is the unanimous opinion of the members of the Commission that it should
terminate with the expiry of the terms of office of its members. Subject to the
wishes of the Government, the Commission would prefer not to accept any
further references to it for inquiry.
It is probable that witnesses under protection of the Commission will continue
to require protection after October 1994. An appropriate mechanism will
require to be found for such protection to continue after the termination of the
matter of daily concern at the time. In these circumstances, the failure by the
Commissioner to have realised the sensitivity of the matter and to have
treated it accordingly is a disturbing aspect of this matter.
Council for Gintans and Seyeh submitted that the Commission should make a
positive finding that his clients did nothing untoward. He argued that they
acted openly and lawfully and that they were entitled to make whatever profit
they could. The problem, however, at this stage, arises from the fact that:
there is still a question to be resolved as to the role played by Van der Walt;
there is the unusual and inadequately explained withdrawal in cash of R850
000 by Seyeh from its bank account; and there was no good commercial
reason suggested for interposing Seyeh between Gintans and Garb.
As far as Garb is concerned the only question which remains unresolved is the
relationship between it and Van der Walt.94
Willies by a Mr Tony Vermaak. The details of this transaction are still the
subject of investigation by Eskom and the Commission.
The sale of 1 000 LM4 rifles to the KwaZulu Police was not authorised by the
management of Eskom.
The purported sale was arranged by Mr Johan van der Walt, an employee of
Eskom, without authority.
The Commission is unable to ascribe a motive or motives to Van der Walt
which would explain his actions in attempting to sell the rifles.
The KwaZulu Government and KwaZulu Police appear to have acted openly in
relation to the purchase. However, council for the KwaZulu Government was
unable to inform the Commission whether normal procedures were followed
with regard to the purchase. Whether this is a matter which requires further
investigation is not a matter which concerns this Commission.
The Commission is satisfied that the National Intelligence Service had nothing
to do with this matter. In particular the vehicle referred to in the Weekend Star
of 2 April 1994 was at no relevant time at the Eskom premises.
It remains unresolved why the Commissioner of both the SAP and KwaZulu
was under the impression that an export permit was required under the Arms
and Ammunition Act, 1969. So, too, the relevant department at the SAP
Headquarters in Pretoria. That became an issue in the light of the submission
by council for the SAP that, in terms of the Arms and Ammunition Act, no
permit is required in respect of arms deliveries to a self-governing territory. It
is not necessary now to resolve that issue.
In any event the permit was issued after consultation with the Commissioner
of the SAP. The Commission can only regard it as unfortunate that the
Commissioner did not refer the matter to the Minister of Law and Order before
allowing the permit to be issued. In this regard it is relevant that this
Commission reported in December 1993, that there was evidence of at least
one hit squad operating within the KwaZulu Police. Furthermore, only a week
prior to the issue of the permit this Commission reported that there was prima
facie evidence that officers of the SAP were involved in the illegal delivery of
firearms to KwaZulu. The potential for increased violence in KwaZulu was a93
Released: 22 April 1994
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
For some years Eskom has had in its possession a number of surplus firearms.
This state of affairs came about in consequence of certain Eskom installations
becoming downgraded from “National Key Points” and the general decrease in
the security provided by Eskom for its own installations.
In an attempt to control the firearms, they were all transferred to Eskom’s
headquarters at Megawatt Park in Sandton.
Any sales of the arms were required to be arranged by the Corporate
Purchasing Manager or alternatively through the Commercial and Legal
Departments. The arms were under the direct control of Mr Johan van der
Walt, the Manager of the National Protective Services Department of Eskom.
He had no authority to sell the arms on behalf of Eskom.
Dr George Lindeque is an executive director of Eskom. On Friday, 25 March
1994, he left his office at 19:00. He went to the parking garage and saw a
bakkie and two open Lorries. He noticed some unusual features. One was that
the vehicles had no registration plates. The Lorries did have paint on the doors
registration numbers preceded by the letters “ZP”. A substantial quantity of
LM4 rifles were being loaded onto the Lorries. Dr Lindeque was informed that
the rifles were destined for the KwaZulu Police. Dr Lindeque returned to his
office and telephonic enquiries made by him established that the sale or
disposal of the rifles had not been approved by the relevant Eskom officials.
The loading of the rifles was under the control of Van der Walt. Dr Lindeque
instructed him to unload the rifles. At the time of the loading of the rifles, apart
from Van der Walt, also present were Mr Phillip Powell, an official employed by
the KwaZulu Government and Mr I Garb, a director of Garb. Van der Walt
informed Dr Lindeque that he had received a cheque from Garb for R675 000
being the purchase consideration for the firearms. He was instructed to return
the cheque to Garb and he did so.
Van der Walt was also responsible for an unauthorised sale of 50 LM4 rifles to
a Kempton Park arms dealer trading under the name of Shotgun Willies. It
appears that 20 of the rifles were delivered not only without authority, but also
without payment. In respect thereof false Eskom Removal Permits were made
out and signed by Van der Walt. They were also signed on behalf of Shotgun92
in the election. The very reason forwarded by the President of Inkatha, Mr
Mangosuthu Buthelezi, for participating in the election, is to avoid further
violence. In a press statement issued by the Commission on 20 April 1994, it
welcomed that decision. Further mass action in Johannesburg before the
election was called off by the Inkatha Youth Brigade. That is also to be
It is the sincere hope of the Commission that a more inclusive election will
reduce considerably the phenomenon of public violence in South Africa.
The Commission made no findings. Three recommendations are made:
1. that the Committee of the Commission which considered
recommendations in relation to mass action reconvene to hear evidence
and submissions and make further recommendations with regard to the
policing problems which arose in Johannesburg on 28 March 1994;
2. that, when further evidence and statements have been made available to
it, the Commission will determine the terms of reference of a committee
to hear evidence with regard to the shooting incidents on 28 March 1994;
3. There appears to be prima facie evidence of a contravention of the
Electoral Act and Code of Conduct. The offender is the IFP official, Mr
Humphrey Ndlovu who, during a public address on the day in question,
informed IFP supporters that the election would not proceed on 26, 27 and
28 April 1994. The Commission was shown a video film of the speech. This
is a matter which the Commission will refer to the Independent Electoral
gathering was indeed called by the IFP and that its belated efforts to rid itself
of responsibility therefore must be rejected.
The ANC and the SAP were of the view that the shooting at the Library
Gardens arose from the SAP shooting in self-defence and that the ANC was in
no way involved. On the other hand, the IFP was of the view that the shooting
there was the consequence of criminal conduct by members of both the SAP
and ANC. It alleges that some of the shots were fired at IFP supporters by
snipers who were on the rooftops of a number of buildings overlooking the
Library Gardens. Counsel for the IFP submitted that the SAP and the ANC did
not want that shooting investigated because they were the cause of it.
The versions presented to the Commission of the events at Shell House and
Lanchet Hall buildings are contradictory in material respects. Whether the ANC
security guards who opened fire on the IFP supporters acted in self-defence, as
alleged by the ANC, or whether they shot without any good cause, as alleged
by the IFP, is a question of considerable public interest and importance.
The Commission is enjoined by the provisions of its statute, Act 139 of 1991
[Section 7(4)] to ensure that any inquiry held by it does not adversely affect
any existing or pending judicial procedures. Having regarded to that provision,
and with the possibility of criminal charges arising out of the shootings, the
Attorney-General of the Witwatersrand, Mr, K P C O von Lieres und Wilkau was
consulted by the Chairman. The attitude of the Attorney-General was that the
Commission should feel free to institute such inquiries as it might deem
The Commission has been informed that the SAP has appointed a team of
detectives to investigate the Shell House shootings. Post mortem examinations
are to be conducted on the bodies of those killed in the incidents. Other
forensic tests are being conducted by the SAP.
The Commission has decided that it would be premature at this stage to
establish a committee to hear evidence on these shootings. The terms of
reference of such a committee can only meaningfully be determined when the
Commission knows what witnesses and evidence are available. For that
purpose the SAP, ANC and IFP are requested to submit witness statements,
photographs and other relevant information to it on or before 31 May 1994.
On the very day that the submissions were heard, 19 April 1994, the IFP
decided to contest the elections. Its supporters are now being exhorted to vote90
MARCH 1994
Released: 21 April 1994
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
On Monday, 28 March 1994, the central business district of Johannesburg was
virtually brought to a standstill. Some areas became battle zones with bullets
flying in all directions. The purpose of the gathering of many thousands of Zulu
people at the Library Gardens was to show solidarity with King Goodwill
Zwelethini and to show support for calls for an independent Zulu Kingdom.
Amid other incidents of violence that took place elsewhere, the shooting
incidents in the centre of the city occurred outside the Selby Hostel; in the
vicinity of Shell House, in which are situated the national offices of the African
National Congress (ANC); in the vicinity of Lancet Hall, which houses the
regional offices of the ANC; and at the Library Gardens.
Notice of that gathering was given to the Chief Magistrate of Johannesburg by
letter dated 22 March 1994. The letter, on a letterhead of Inkatha Freedom
Party (IFP) was signed by Mr Humphrey Ndlovu, the East Rand Chairperson of
the IFP. The purpose of the gathering is stated as the launch of its AntiElection Campaign.
At the preliminary inquiry it was submitted on behalf of the KwaZulu
Government and the IFP that the gathering was not in fact arranged by the IFP
but by or on behalf of “the Zulu people” and that the IFP letterhead was only
used because Mr Ndlovu did not have available a letterhead of the KwaZulu
Government. The Commission has no hesitation in rejecting this submission as
being fanciful and disingenuous. The argument about the letterhead is refuted
by the contents of the letter. In very clear terms the application was made, not
only on behalf of the IFP but also for the purpose of launching the IFP AntiElection Campaign. The letter, furthermore, is signed by Ndlovu in his capacity
as an IFP official. The application to the City Council is in similar terms. This
spurious argument is also given the lie by the vague allegation that Mr Ndlovu
in fact was calling the gathering on behalf of “the Zulu people”. How Mr Ndlovu
was authorised to act on behalf of “the Zulu people” could not be explained by
counsel for the IFP and KwaZulu Government. There can be no doubt that the
purpose of the gathering was party political and that, in any event, many
members of the Zulu nation would not have wished to participate in an IFP
Anti-Election Campaign. The Commission is of the view, therefore, that the89
The regular liaison between the SAP and the communities such as that initiated
in the Vaal Triangle should be encouraged and extended throughout the
No police union or staff association should be allowed to have political
affiliations. No official of any such organisation should have any public role in
any political organisation. This is to avoid perceptions of partiality.
Urgent attention should be given to the question of SDUs. The need for self
protection units (SPUs) according to the requirements of each community
exists. There is, however, no place for unstructured units with no
accountability. The provisions of paragraph 7 of Chapter 3 of the Peace Accord
lay down proper guide lines in this respect. It is regrettable that existing SDUs
were not formed on those lines. The Committee recommends that the SAP and
the Peace Structures, at national level, take steps jointly to ensure the
structuring and training of proper SPUs, where such need exists. Communities
and local police should be involved in this matter. Care should be taken to
ensure that members are accountable and acceptable to the community in
question. Where members of existing SDUs are nominated, their suitability
should be carefully considered.
Members of political organisations, community leaders, the media and others
should exercise restraint when dealing with issues that could have the effect of
creating perceptions that could result in incitement of violence against the SAP.
Political organisations should take care that policy statements and views reach,
and be understood, at all levels of their organisations. During the inquiry many
shortcomings, in this respect, emerged. Some of these misunderstandings
caused unnecessary friction between the SAP and communities.
The SAP should review the manner in which the police victims of violence could
be assisted to alleviate their suffering.
Urgent and active steps should be taken by all political organisations and
leaders, in consultation with the communities, to encourage the safe return, to
their homes, of those police officers who were driven out and who wish to
The criminal investigation of crimes perpetrated against members of the SAP
should be more detailed and effective in order to result in successful
prosecutions. Similarly complaints of crimes by members of the community
should be addressed more sympathetically and effectively by the SAP.87
in the violence perpetrated on police officers. The Peace Accord, also, makes
provision for the formation of self protection units (SPUs). The SDUs, referred
to, were not formed and structured on those lines. Evidence about the
members of SDUs was rather vague. Members of the community, who gave
evidence, were unable to give clear particulars of these units. These groups are
completely amorphous. Certain ANC officials testified that they were formed
spontaneously by unknown members of the community. The reason for this
anonymity is that people are afraid to become involved. They fear harassment
of those persons if their identities become known to the police. Many of these
groups became involved in crime. Criminals also took over some groups. These
groups were often involved in attacks on police officers.
It is unfortunate that nobody took any positive steps after the signing of the
Peace Accord towards the proper structuring of SPUs, in the manner envisaged
in that document.
The Committee heard evidence of APLA members who were involved in attacks
on police officers and their homes. Policy statements by APLA leaders were
handed in. These statements labelled police officers as “the enemy” that
should be killed. In media reports, which were handed in, APLA leaders claimed
credit for the killing of a substantial number of police officers. These numbers
were, according to the police evidence, grossly exaggerated. This exaggeration
was, apparently, to create the perception that APLA was a very successful
liberation movement.
Witnesses produced by the ANC complained of violence perpetrated upon
them, during house to house searches, by members of the police, particularly
by members of the Internal Stability Unit (ISU). This was disputed by police
witnesses. The perception that this happened, however, cannot be disputed.
Such action by the police or perceptions of it obviously resulted in revenge
attacks by SDUs. This, in turn, led to further police action, which perpetuated
the ever continuing cycle of violence.
Every possible step should be taken by the Government, the community,
political organisations and the SAP to ensure that the SAP be accepted as a
force for the community and from the community. Steps already taken in this
regard are commendable and should be made known at all levels of society. It
is not only necessary to take such steps but, those steps, as in respect of
justice, should be seen to have been taken.86
Released: 21 April 1994
Committee: Mr G. Steyn (Chairman); Mr S. Moshidi
Reasons for violence on the police are multi-faceted, but the root causes are to
be found in the political history of the country.
Police officers are attacked, killed, robbed of their firearms and property. Their
homes are destroyed and they have to leave black residential areas for their
own safety and that of their families. The nature of many attacks was
alarmingly brutal and barbaric.
Members, of the SAP who were victims of violence, and members of the
community gave evidence that police officers are subjected to mistrust and
hatred, especially in black communities. The causes for this are to be found in
the historic role that the police played in the enforcement of apartheid
legislation. The manner in which this was done met with strong objection. This
enmity of the community towards the police made law enforcement in unrest
situations very difficult. Action taken by the police in those circumstances often
resulted in them being branded as the perpetrators of the violence. These
perceptions are, often, based on rumour, incorrect information and insufficient
observation. Police witnesses claimed that attackers, at times, wore police
uniforms in order to create the impression that the attackers were police. Few
witnesses were able to give unbiased or objective evidence where police
involvement was concerned. Evidently the political history has firmly
entrenched the perception that the police are unable to act fairly and
impartially. It is therefore easy to discredit police officers in the townships. The
evidence has shown that this was not always without cause. Whether sufficient
cause has been established is not really relevant. The problem lies in the
reaction of a large section of the community to the manner in which it, rightly
or wrongly, perceives the police. Very little regard for the safety and welfare of
the police exists. In those circumstances violence towards the police is not
generally frowned upon by the community. Those who assault and kill police
officers do so with impunity and little fear of retribution. Many attacks on police
appear to have met with a measure of community approval. The relationship
between the police and the township communities clearly plays a major role in
the violence on police.
At the initiative of the ANC, amongst others, self defence units (SDUs) were
formed to protect their communities. These SDUs also played an important role85
Released: 18 March 1994
Committee: Adv M Wallis SC (Chairman); Mr R Zondo; Mr J A L Geyser
The Committee was requested to conduct such enquiries as it might consider
necessary or appropriate in regard to the following matters:-
1. The possession by Constable Ngubane of an AK-47 rifle during August
1991 and the investigation by the KwaZulu Police in consequence thereof;
2. the murders committed in March 1990 with AK-47 rifles and hand
grenades at two houses in KwaMakhuta and the failure of the KwaZulu
Police to cause the re-arrest of two suspects who absconded and whose
whereabouts are known to the KwaZulu Police;
3. the lack of any progress in KwaMashu Case CR261/9/90 in which
uniformed KwaZulu policemen are alleged to have shot and killed a
KwaMashu resident;
4. the failure to investigate thoroughly the death of Mr. T.C. Cele (Umlazi
DR99/90). The inquest magistrate found that policemen had falsified their
version and recommended that they together with a senior officer be
charged with murder and defeating the ends of justice;
5 the conduct of the KwaZulu Police relating to the shooting incident and
later the murder or Professor Sibankulu on 11 November 1992;
6. the conduct by the KwaZulu Police with regard to the investigation into
the murder of Mr. Reggie Hadebe on 28 October, 1992.84
Released: 18 March 1994
Committee: Adv M Wallis SC (Chairman); Mr R Zondo; Mr J A L Geyser
The first interim report was furnished to the Commission during September
1993. The sole issue discussed was the well publicised attempts by the Wallis
Committee to obtain agreement for the establishment of a carefully selected
police investigation unit in the Natal Midlands. Notwithstanding broad
agreement with regard thereto, the initiative died in the face of unequivocal
and strong opposition from the Commissioner of the South African Police.
As recommended by the Wallis Committee, its report was discussed by the
Commission with the Commissioner of Police. The issues raised in the report
were then overtaken by subsequent events. In particular the relevant matters
became the subject of debate and negotiation by the Multi-Party Negotiation
Process and its Committee on Law and Order and later by the Transitional
Executive Council and its Sub-Council on Law and Order.
In the circumstances the Commission decided that the matter should be left for
resolution by the political parties and that the role of the Commission could
only be ancillary thereto. It is not considered necessary or appropriate to set
out in this report the subsequent decisions taken or to comment on them.
Suffice it to say that methods of handling complaints against members of a
police force are of fundamental importance with regard to public perceptions of
that force. This is a matter which will require to be considered in relation to the
restructure of the South African Police.83
The Commission would like to stress that the persons named in this report
have not been found guilty of the allegations made against them. The
evidence, much of it strong, remains prima facie until proven by normal
judicial processes.
The Commission exhorts the Government, the TEC and other relevant
authorities to take all possible steps to neutralise elements in the SAP and KZP
which may or might be likely to cause or encourage criminal acts of violence
and intimidation between the present time and the election and in the period
immediately thereafter.
The Commission earnestly appeals to all South Africans to recognise and
appreciate that as serious as the alleged misconduct by some members of the
SAP may be, there are over 100 000 members of the Police Force. Without the
courage and honesty of Majors van Vuuren and Du Plessis, Brigadier Schoeman
and Colonel Piet Botha, the Commission would have been unable to discover
the evidence pointing to a horrible network of criminal activity. Without the
support of General G Fivaz and the Commissioner, General J van der Merwe, it
would have been difficult if not impossible to have put together an effective
investigation unit.
The honest and dedicated police officers to whom we have just referred are not
the exception. They should serve as role models for their colleagues especially
as we enter a democratic era. It would be unfair and dangerous to tar the
whole Police Force with the brush of Vlakplaas.
Other members of the SAP should be encouraged to come forward and expose
what has been happening. That is the most effective way of stopping it.
Consideration should be given to the grant of an indemnity to persons who
wish to come forward and who were themselves guilty of criminal conduct.
Those most deserving of exposure and punishment are the senior officers who
may be proved to have misused positions of great trust and power. They
indeed used that trust and those powers to do the very things they were
designed to prevent.
To the extent that they are practically capable of implementation, the
Commission supports the recommendations contained in the second report of
the Wallis Committee.82
4. Examples of false ID and passports were also furnished by Q.
5. Notwithstanding Eugene de Kock’s discharge from the SAP some months
ago with a “packet” of R1,2 million, he was still actively involved in third
force activities and had used his false passport some two weeks previously
on a trip to and from Zurich..
The Commission uses its powers of search and seizure to obtain possible
relevant information.
The corroboration for the major allegations include the following:
(1) The fact that false passports and identity documents were still in the
possession of members of the SAP who have no innocent use for them;
(2) The fact that one of the persons in possession of such documents is
Eugene de Kock who ceased to be a member of the SAP months ago. The
Commission has been given further information from a reliable source to
the effect that De Kock is presently in possession of no less than seven
passports all in false names. In his evidence, De Kock stated that of all the
false passports issued to him he has retained only one – that in the name
of De Wet.
(3) The reaction of Colonel Cronje and General Engelbrecht to the
investigation by the Commission into the false passports;
(4) The approach by De Kock to the ANC;
(5) The fact that De Kock was accompanied by General Engelbrecht and
Brigadier Oosthuizen and the fundamentally important inferences that
must be drawn therefrom. [The association now of the officers with De
Kock, in the view of the Commission is of particular significance].
(6) The request by General Engelbrecht to Brigadier Schoeman to furnish a
report that General Engelbrecht’s department was not involved in the
criminal matters under investigation.
(7) The action by General Engelbrecht in putting a stop to the investigation
against De Kock by Colonel Roelf Venter.
(8) The approaches to Major du Plessis.
(9) The documentary proof of the purchase of arms and ammunition by
Vlakplaas members from Brooklyn Circle Arms.
(10) The arms from Koevoet being stored and used at Vlakplaas.
(11) The training of Vlakplaas members in the use of AK-47s.
(12) The false denial of the facts in 23.2.10 and 23.2.11 by De Kock.
(13) The manufacture and distribution of arms and ammunition to the Inkatha
members referred to above.81
Released: 18 March 1994
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
The Chairman of this Commission was approached by a senior foreign diplomat
who informed him that an officer in the SAP had information concerning third
force activities. This officer became known as “Q”.
Information supplied by “Q” at first meeting with Judge Goldstone:
1. Unit C1 at Vlakplaas (later Unit C10), under the command of Colonel
Eugene de Kock, was involved from 1989 in violence aimed at the
destabilisation of South Africa. It was involved, inter alia, in the
organisation of train violence and hostel violence. The operations were
under the command of Lieutenant-General Basie Smit, now Deputy
Commissioner of the SAP and Major-General Krappies Engelbrecht, now
head of the Department of Counter-Intelligence of the SAP. LieutenantGeneral Johan le Roux had full knowledge of, and was involved in these
2. Until some 18 months ago the group was involved in the manufacture of
home-made guns at premises on the East Rand and in Silverton. The
persons who directed this manufacture were Warrant Officer Snor
Vermeulen, Warrant Officer Lionel Snyman and Warrant Officer Dawid
Britz, all members of C10. The arms were delivered to three senior
members of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), viz Messrs Themba Khoza
and Victor Ndlovu. (Khoza is presently the chairman of the Transvaal
Region of the IFP). The middle man who arranged the deliveries, was a
former officer in the SAP, Dries (Brood) van Heerden. Van Heerden had
become a senior security official in ABSA Bank. He saw to it that he
employed only Zulu security officers loyal to the IFP. He was assisted by
Dougie Crew, also an ABSA Bank employee.
3. When the Vlakplaas unit was disbanded in the aftermath of the CCB
exposé, the members of C10 were transferred to other units of the SAP.
Some of the transferred members as well as others who are no longer in
the SAP continued and still do operate in hit squads. The members were
all given false identity documents and passports. These were arranged by
Brigadier Beukes and Colonel Cronje of SAP Headquarters in Pretoria
Released: 18 January 1994
Committee: R J Goldstone (Chairman); L Baqwa; G Steyn; S Sithole
Shooting incidents in certain areas in Katlehong have become a frequent
occurrence and have caused the death and injury of many people and the
dislocation of many families. So frequent have such incidents become that
some of them no longer receive media attention. However, the incident of 9
January 1994 made headlines in the press and on radio and television. The
reason for this was that the initial shots that afternoon were fired from a hostel
at a group which included senior officials of the ANC and many media
representatives. One freelance photographer, Abdul Sharif, was killed and two
On Sunday 9 January 1994 an ANC delegation led by the Secretary-General of
the ANC, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa and the Chairman of the South African
Communist Party, Mr Joe Slovo walked through a section of the Dikolo section
of Katlehong. It did so in order to highlight the plight of families who have
been driven from their houses because of political violence and intimidation in
that area which is close to the Mazibuko Hostel (“The Hostel”).
The road along which the group was proceeding ends at a T-junction. At the
junction there is an unobstructed view to and from at least one of the five
blocks of the Hostel. The group reached the T-junction and turned right in
order to proceed in an easterly direction, ie, away from the Hostel. At that
point a number of shots were fired at the group from the Hostel with automatic
Within seconds the bodyguards of Messrs Ramaphosa and Slovo had their hand
guns out and they led both officials out of the line of fire. Within minutes
members of the local Self Defence Unit (SDU) produced AK47 rifles and began
firing in the direction of the Hostel. Soon after the 16h00 incident, which the
SAP said they did not know about until some time later, there were two other
incidents in which members of the ISU were fired on by young men wielding
AK47s. That occurred at two different places in Katlehong some distance from
the Hostel. One of the persons firing at the ISU was shot and killed by the
police and three were arrested. Four AK47s were seized by the police.
A police raid of the Hostel took place in the early hours of the Monday
Released: 6 December 1993
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
The Commission considers that having regard to the national election to be
held on 27 April 1994 it is appropriate that a further interim report be
The only broad issue dealt with in this report is the curbing of public violence
and intimidation during the period up to and immediately after the election.
The challenge now facing South Africa is its transformation into a peaceful
democratic non-racial and non-sexist society. That will not happen if the
outcome of our first national election is not in fact, and in the perception or the
mass of our people, legitimate.
The Transitional Executive Council [“TEC”) and the Independent Electoral
Commission [“IEC”] will have an extremely short period of time within which to
take necessary and adequate steps to ensure the fairness of the voting
procedure and a peaceful transfer of power to a government of national unity.78
Released: 26 November 1993
During its first year of activity the Commission had no efficient means of
investigating incidents or events relevant to public violence and intimidation.
After due deliberation and consultation with the relevant parties it was decided
to establish five investigation units to be stationed at Johannesburg, Durban,
East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town respectively. They became
operational on 1 October 1992.
The mandate of the units is to investigate incidents of public violence and
intimidation in South Africa, the nature and causes thereof and the persons
involved therein.
The investigation units enabled the Commission to gather information more
efficiently and quickly than it had previously been able to do. Before their
establishment the Commission relied more on the submissions received from
various parties. After the establishment of its units the Commission used them
to do additional groundwork before deciding whether or not to launch enquiries
into specific incidents.
Numerous allegations were made with regard to the existence of a third force.
The Commission instructed the units to investigate the allegations and, in
particular, to seek to establish by credible evidence whether a third force
existed and, if so, its sponsorship.77
“skokgranate, donshael, rubberhael” and teargas. It would also appear that a
number of people were arrested and others were injured, and two are reported
to have succumbed to the injuries they sustained. In the end, after about three
days, the situation returned to normal and the Internal Stability Unit pulled out
of D’Almeida Township.
Save for saying that the parties to the conflict in Mossel Bay should continue
talking to and negotiating with each other and among themselves, the
committee makes no recommendations. The committee believes that it is only
by means of bona fide negotiations between the parties that the deadlock in
Mossel Bay can be overcome. Ultimatums coupled with unreasonable demands
from the Civics and an uncalled-for display of a “kragdadigheid” attitude by the
Town Council will not do. What is needed is introspection and a change in
attitude. What is needed is patience and conciliation, to forswear arrogance
and confrontation. What is needed is mutual respect and tolerance. The
committee also notes with encouragement and hope that the meeting held by
the warring parties on 4 August 1993 at Mossel Bay with certain third parties
as mediators – Messrs Louw, Suikers and Kannemeyer – will prove to be an
important milestone in resorting peace to the area. Finally, the committee is
indebted to all those who made the preliminary public hearing at the D’Almeida
Community Hall the success that it was.76
Released: 12 October 1993
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); M N S Sithole
The gravamen of the conflict in Mossel Bay is mainly socio-economic and
attitudinal in the sense that it centres around issues such as the shortage of
housing; the non-payment of electricity and water accounts by some
D’Almeida township residents and the subsequent disconnection of the
electricity supply by the Town Council, the institution of legal action by the
Town Council to evict residents who were in default of paying their electricity
and water accounts and the subsequent rent boycott; the ousting of the
elected local Management Committee by the Civics and the subsequent refusal
or failure of the Mossel Bay Town Council to recognise the Civics as the
Authentic representatives of the D’Almeida Community; and complaints about
the upgrading of houses at D’Almeida.
The Town Council, however, could not respond favourably to all the demands
made by the Civics, as it considered attending to some of them as being
beyond its powers. But what seems to have exacerbated the already strained
relations between them was the Town Council’s insistence on recognising the
Management Committee and its refusal to recognise the Civics.
When the municipality, with police protection, moved into the township on 12
July to cut off electricity, about 300 residents occupied the Housing Offices in
the township in protest. On 13 July 1993 a meeting was arranged between the
parties to solve their differences, but it was aborted because they could not
agree on simple issues such as who was to be chairman of the meeting,
whether English could be used as a medium for conducting the meeting and
what the Agenda should be. It was stated that the intransigence of the Mayor
of Mossel Bay, played a key role in the failure of the said meeting. The said
occupation continued until 10h00 that day (i.e. 13 July 1993), when they were
ordered to vacate the premises within specified time. The Internal Stability
Unit of the SAP had by this time moved in to maintain law and order. A video
recording of the events at the scene and at Da Gamaskop Police Station shows,
inter alia, much bickering and some attempts at negotiations by the Civics, the
Peace Secretariat officials and the police. It would appear that later in the day,
after 16h00, the situation got out of hand in that there was indiscriminate
violence and much stone throwing from a crowd standing next to the Housing
Offices. These were apparently aimed at the police. Some members of the
police were hit. Extensive damage to property and looting followed. The police
apparently responded to this mayhem with various types of ammunition, to wit75
and consulted regarding any decisions that affect the development of
Crossroads and the allocation of houses and serviced sites.
Inasmuch as piecemeal development has proved to be divisive in the past, the
CPA and the other authorities engaged in the Serviced Land Project are urged
to proceed as quickly as possible with developments on a comprehensive basis,
if this is at all practicable and viable.
Law enforcement will have to be made more effective. The committee is
concerned that the SAP may have placed too much reliance on its own
intelligence-gathering while not utilising other sources of information, with the
result that a one-sided picture of the situation has emerged.74
Released: 11 November 1993
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); F C Bam; M A Albertus
Crossroads is a squatter camp located within the south-eastern sector of the
Cape Metropolitan area. In early 1993 this area was wracked by tension and
renewed violence. There were several shootings and the burning of shacks in
March. This pattern of violence was repeated in the ensuing months, with
approximately 60 shacks being torched in Sections 2 and 3 on 29 May alone.
The culture of violence and intimidation was of such a nature and degree that
law enforcement in the area proved to be ineffectual and efforts at peacebrokering by various groups, such as the Local Peace Committee, the Network
of Independent Monitors, the Black Sash and the local branch of the ANC, was
rendered futile.
It was against this backdrop of violence and intimidation that the Commission
on 18 June announced that an inquiry into the cause and nature of the violence
and intimidation would be held by a committee of the Commission.
Consultation with the people of Crossroads should take place on an inclusive
basis. In tribalised or newly urbanised sectors in the community there is a
deeply ingrained view that there should be one spokesman for the entire
community. This could be based on the system of chiefs and headmen. The
reality of urban society is that entirely different standards obtain because of,
inter alia, the size of the community, the differing needs of people, and
exposure to various views and influences from outside the community.
It is noted that WECUSA, acting through Jeffrey Nongwe and Conrad Sandile,
has tried to limit the participation of other structures within the consultation
and decision-making process concerning the development of Crossroads and
the allocation of houses and serviced sites. While it is not denied that WECUSA
and Nongwe enjoy some support within the squatter community, it is strongly
recommended that the CPA and other authorities that are engaged in the
development of Crossroads broaden the base of consultation and decisionmaking to other representative structures at Crossroads. Consequently, steps
should be taken to ensure that the Crossroads community is properly informed73
The SAP and SADF should communicate with the Department of Transport with
a view to ascertaining what sophisticated equipment is available for detecting
illegal weaponry transport on or in motor vehicles, be they heavy lorries,
combis or ordinary motor cars.
If such sophisticated equipment is available, to ascertain what regulations (if
any) could properly be promulgated by the Department of Transport to
facilitate the use in collaboration with the SAP and SADF of such sophisticated
equipment wherever it will be most usefully employed for the purpose of
seeking to detect the presence of unlawful weaponry in motor vehicles.
That as a priority urgent attention be given to the funding of the requirements
both of the SAP and the SADF with respect to the provision of sufficient
equipment to stem the illegal importation of arms from outside the Republic
and their use and distribution within it.72
Released: 5 October 1993
Committee: M N S Sithole (Chairman); L S van Zyl; J S N Roberts
On 29 October 1992 the Commission issued a press statement that it will hear
oral submissions on ways and means of curbing the illegal importation of
automatic weapons and their distribution and use in South Africa in the
furtherance of political violence.
Written representations were furnished to the Commission by the South
African Police (SAP); the African National Congress (ANC); the South African
Defence Force (SADF) and the KwaZulu Government/Inkatha Freedom Party
The SAP and the SADF were further requested to submit particulars with
respect to the following:
1. The needs of the security forces in terms of manpower and equipment in
order to prevent the aforesaid illegal importation, distribution and use.
2. The need for greater powers of interrogation by the security forces and
the imposition of higher penalties with respect to such illegal importation.
3. The policy of rewards and its application with respect to such illegal
importation, distribution and use.
4. Methods of packaging, carrying and transportation of such weapons by
those involved in illegal importation, distribution and use; and
5. The custody and fate of weapons confiscated by the security forces from
those involved in such illegal importation, distribution and use.
1. That no amendment or addition be made to the Act which, with respect to
this term of reference, but subject to 2, contains adequate provisions for
endeavouring to control the importation of illegal weaponry and its use
and distribution in the Republic.
2. Nevertheless, the committee recommends that those sections of the
existing legislation which have not as yet been brought into operation
should be brought into operation with the minimum of delay.
3. Furthermore, with respect to efforts to control the importation, illegal use
and illegal distribution of weaponry, the amended regulations referred to
by SAG should be settled and promulgated with the minimum of delay.71
wishes to underline the view of the committee that the existing system of
regulation “needs to be replaced by a system which acknowledges the
place of the minibus in the industry and protects the interests of everyone
– passengers, taxi operators and the general public”.
The principle of subsidising any sector of the transport industry cash payments
is not supported. However, consideration should be given to indirect subsidies
from the private sector in particular with regard to improving facilities.
All representative organisations in the industry (i.e. local, regional and
national), should be identified and drawn into full consultation in the
formulation of local, regional and national transport policies.
Improved training facilities for all persons involved in the taxi industry should
be provided with the assistance of organised commerce and industry.
In many areas, as a matter of urgency, local authorities and local taxi
associations should discuss and implement ways and means of immediately
improving ranking facilities. The committee refers with appreciation in this
regard to the system which is in operation in Durban.
The functions performed by Department of Transport inspectors should be
transferred to local authorities and, in particular, traffic police. The Department
of Justice is urged to develop a programme which would ensure speedy and
effective prosecution of persons charged with taxi-related crimes, where there
is a prospect of witnesses being intimidated or disappearing. The police should
keep community leaders informed on the progress of investigations.
Every local authority should appoint at least one person to liaise with the local
taxi associations and leaders of the communities they serve.
Dispute mediation mechanisms should be created which involve all interested
parties – at local, regional and national levels.
The present system of appeals from local road transportation boards should
immediately be simplified and made accessible. An ombudsman should be
appointed to review all relevant proceedings of the authorities.70
were quiet, apparently because of the presence of the SADF, the newly-formed
“taxi unit” of the SAP and the return to the Transkei by many operators. On 31
January 1992 a peace agreement was announced, but on the very next day [1
February] renewed violence erupted and several hundred shacks were razed in
Black City and WEBTA was driven from the Nyanga rank. The SAP closed the
rank, and the ANC called for a new boycott.
Fortunately, the tireless efforts of the peacemakers bore fruit and negotiations
were resumed. In March 1992 CODETA was established. The committee was
heartened by this development which brought peace to the stricken
communities in this part of South Africa. The parties to the truce must be
congratulated on making it work in spite of strains which occurred from time to
time. Since 31 March 1993 violence has again flared up but not, so we believe,
between the former taxi associations. This committee does not believe that a
purpose will be served by further delaying this report by inquiring into the new
conflict and expresses the hope that it will be resolved.
The taxi industry should not be deregulated for the foreseeable future and not
before informal townships and settlements have become established and
peaceful communities. More positively, the advance of the industry towards
deregulation should be commensurate with the improvement in the quality of
life enjoyed by the communities served by the industry.
The local road transportation boards are discredited bodies and their
replacement with other statutory bodies will not be likely to provide greater
success. In providing for future regulation the following suggestions are
supported by the committee as guidelines:
(1) For long-term stability in the taxi industry, a genuine partnership will have
to be brought about between taxi associations representing taxi operators
and the controlling authority;
(2) The controlling authority should be a statutory which must have powers to
set the criteria necessary for admission to the minibus taxi industry;
(3) Permits should be issued at a local level, with due regard to prevailing
local conditions;
(4) Some of the criteria which should be taken into account for the grant of a
permit are listed; and
(5) Every decision of the issuing body should be subject to a simple,
inexpensive form of appeal and there should be an independent,
accessible complaint handling procedure at local level. The Commission69
Released: 26 July 1993
Committee: Adv D J Rossouw (Chairman); Mr L S van Zyl
The role and influence of the SAP was not a primary cause in the conflict in the
Western Cape and since it is an identifiable and separate aspect; its conclusion
will stand over until this interim report has been submitted to the Commission.
In September/October 1990 conflict arose over access to the Strand Street
rank outside the Golden Acre in central Cape Town. The Taxi Crisis Committee
[TCC] was formed, and matters were peaceful until February/March 1991
Lingulethu West Town Council granted a rank to LAGUNYA at Site C, and this
led to serious violence on a large scale especially in the Khayelitsha area. The
community imposed a boycott of all the taxis, and under the guidance of the
new Taxi Crisis Co-ordinating Committee [TCCC] the parties signed the 10
Point Plan on 10 April 1991. However, shortly after the boycott was
terminated, WEBTA withdrew from the agreement and a further boycott of
WEBTA taxis was called for, with limited success. The community started to be
drawn into the conflict, and on 2 July 1991 a WEBTA member was killed at the
venue of a “peace” meeting, and on 8 July 1991 Michael Mapongwana [of the
Western Cape Civic Association] was killed [apparently in revenge].
On 11 July 1991 an interim agreement over the allocation of ranks and routes
was reached, and attempts were made to reschedule loans. WEBTA started to
return to the roads, but when they tried to gain access to Khayelitsha their
vehicles were attacked, and during September 1991 WEBTA launched an
attack on Khayelitsha and killings, abductions and damage to vehicles
continued unabated. During September 1991 WEBTA drove LAGUNYA from the
Nyanga bus terminus, and LAGUNYA sought refuge in KTC, from where they
launched counter-attacks on WEBTA. This, in turn, led to WEBTA attacking the
people of KTC who were perceived to be “protecting” LAGUNYA. The
community sided with LAGUNYA, and WEBTA could not enter Khayelitsha. It is
quite obvious from the evidence that the black areas in the Western Cape had
turned into a virtual war-zone. Attacks and counter-attacks between WEBTA,
LAGUNYA and the community took place on a large scale. Murder, arson,
abductions and intimidation paralysed the kombi-taxi industry and led to losses
of homes, lives and vehicles on a large scale.
When no negotiated settlement could be reached, the Cape Town Peace
Committee called for a Commission of Inquiry. November and December 199168
independent assessment of the potential for violence and intimidation and
some possible steps that would minimise that risk.
This report does not purport to be, in any sense, an in-depth analysis of the
election process or of the institutions — government and non-government —
that are part of that process. Moreover, it must be noted that our discussions
have taken place during a period of almost daily developments in the
negotiations among the parties and prior to any final legislative decisions
concerning representation, the Independent Electoral Commission (“IEC”), or
the Electoral Act. Despite the substantial uncertainty concerning the
constitutional and legal structure within which the election will be held, the
Panel members have sought to offer suggestions that, whether they are
accepted or rejected by the participants, will at least focus attention on some
of the critical issues that must be addressed as South Africa moves toward the
momentous events of 1994.67
Released: 11 August 1993
Panelists: Charles Ruff (Chairperson); Jorgen Elklit; Terius Geldenhuys; Ronald
Gould; Walter Kamba; Igna Kamba Klynsmith; Dren Nupen; Otty Nxumalo;
Johan Olivier, Clifford Shearing; Therese Striggner-Scott
On March 8, 1993, Mr. Justice Richard J. Goldstone announced the creation of
a multinational panel to inquire into ways and means of curbing violence and
intimidation before, during, and after the election that was then expected to
occur in early 1994 and has now been scheduled for April 27, 1994. Mr. Justice
Goldstone invited all interested parties to provide written submissions to the
Panel by May 31, and public hearings on the Panel’s report were scheduled for
early August. The Panel, consisting of six South African and five non-South
African members, convened in Johannesburg from June 23 through June 26,
reviewed submissions received from various sources, and discussed a wide
range of issues bearing on the minimization of violence. It met again for three
days in Cape Town at the beginning of August to review a draft of this report
and prepare its recommendations to the Commission.
From the beginning, it was clear to the members of the Panel that, of
necessity, the issues we were considering would overlap those that were the
subject of the negotiations being conducted in the Multiparty Forum at
Kempton Park. We determined, however, that, if we were to address
comprehensively the elements of the election process that might bear on the
prevention of violence, it was important not to limit the scope of our inquiry.
Hence, we sought to explore, at least preliminarily, such issues as the role of
the proposed Independent Electoral Commission (“IEC”), the scheduling of the
Independent Electoral Commission (“IEC”), the scheduling of the election, the
voting process, and the counting of ballots, as well as more obviously pertinent
questions relating to the role of the police, the role of monitors and observers,
and the management of campaign rallies, marches and demonstrations.
The report reflects the full range of the Panel’s discussion, including the issues
that bear directly on the problem of violence and those that relate more
broadly to the structure of the election. While mindful that their mandate
carried them into areas immersed in the political process and that our
recommendations would not necessarily be consistent with those that emerged
from the multiparty negotiations, we nonetheless felt it important to offer our66
no evidence to gainsay their version. In the absence of such evidence and the
hearing of viva voce evidence we accept that Dr Hartzenberg, General Viljoen
and the other non-AWB leaders of the AVF had no prior notice of the intended
break-in and seizure of the World Trade Centre. The conduct, particularly of
General Viljoen at the time as seen on the video films lends strong support for
his denial. It is noticeable too that many supporters were prepared to heed his
commands. Those who did not do so were predominantly clad in AWB
The carrying or display of all dangerous weapons and especially firearms by
any person who participates in a public meeting or demonstration should be
made an offence and severe penalties should be provided for the contravention
thereof. The appropriate penalty in any particular case should be left to the
discretion of the courts.
Provision should be made, subject to strict control, for necessary bodyguards
to be exempted from the prohibition.
The wearing at public gatherings or meetings of disguises or any form of face
covering should be made an offence and severe penalties should be provided.
Public authorities and the SAP should not in future rely, without more, on
assurances as to the conduct of its members by the AWB. Appropriate
precautions should be taken in respect of all public gatherings and meetings at
which such persons are likely to be present.65
Released: 13 July 1993
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
On Friday 25 June 1993, hundreds of rightwing supporters stormed the World
Trade Centre in Kempton Park, South Africa, where multi-party negotiations for
a new democratic South Africa were underway.
The permission sought by the Afrikaner Volksfront (AVF) from the local
authority, was to hold a public meeting in Jones Street, in the vicinity of the
gate of the World Trade Centre. In blocking the entrance to the World Trade
Centre, in breaking into the grounds thereof, in carrying firearms let alone
openly displaying them, the protesters clearly violated the conditions imposed
by the local authority. Apart from these transgressions, the persons concerned
also were guilty of public violence, assault with intent to do grievous bodily
harm, criminal injuria, malicious damage to property and trespass.
The Commission welcomes the actions by the SAP in having some 60 persons
arrested and charged. We would add only that any persons who encouraged
such unlawful activity rendered himself or herself guilty of the same offences.
They, too, should be charged appropriately. As to the persons guilty of the
transgressions of the conditions and of the criminal law, it is clear beyond
dispute that the perpetrators were for the most part uniformed and armed
members of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB).
The leaders of the AVF, and particularly Dr Hartzenberg and General Viljoen,
claim ignorance of any plan to break into the World Trade Centre premises or
building. They add, through their attorney, that the events were spontaneous
and the result of the anger of their supporters at current political events and
the refusal to allow them to hold their meeting on the grassed area inside the
premises of the World Trade Centre.
We agree fully with the submission made on behalf of the SAP that the conduct
of members of the AWB was anything but spontaneous. The manner in which
they manoeuvred the viper into the grounds and the sudden emergence of the
(until then concealed) assortment of rifles and other firearms they had with
them are quite inconsistent with a spontaneous event.
That the leaders of the AVF who are not members of the AWB were ignorant of
the criminal intention by the members of the AWB is quite possible and there is64
matter be considered by way of a non-public workshop rather than at a public
adversarial procedure. That spirit of co-operation continued throughout the
All of the recommendations of the committee were accepted by the
Commission. In particular attention is drawn to the request that the report be
made available to all regional and local peace committees. As a matter of
course it will also be furnished to the international organisations which are
involved in peacekeeping operations in South Africa.63
Released: 29 June 1993
Committee: G Steyn (Chairman); Dr A Gildenhuys; Mr S Moshidi
A workshop was held on 26 and 27 May 1993 and 7 June 1993 in Pretoria, to
consider the events after the assassination and during the funeral of Mr Chris
Hani. Chris Hani, the secretary-general of the South African Communist Party,
and member of the NEC of the African National Congress, was assassinated in
a drive by shooting in his driveway on Sunday 10 April 1993.
1. The causes of or reasons for the damaging and/or looting of private
and/or public buildings or other property and the assault on or death of
members of the public that resulted from or on occasion of any mass
action and the persons who were involved therein;
2. The reasons for the failure by organisers of public processions to obtain
the necessary permission for such processions from the appropriate local
authorities and/or magistrates;
3. The reasons for any such failure in the case of public processions for which
the necessary permission had been obtained, but where there was a
failure to give effect to the prescribed conditions;
4. The steps taken by organisations and/or organisers who arranged mass
action to prevent the events referred to above;
5. Incidents or events at or in the vicinity of police stations and
circumstances during which persons, if any, were killed, and the cause
6. The failure by any party, organisation or authority to take appropriate
steps to prevent the violence which occurred immediately before, on or
after 14 April 1993;
7. In the cases where members of the public were killed or injured whether
such killings or injuries could have been avoided by any person,
organisation or authority;
8. The steps which should be taken to avoid a repetition of the violence,
deaths, injuries, looting and damage caused as aforesaid.
The Commission welcomes the co-operation between the South African Police,
the South African Defence Force, the African National Congress Alliance and
the Inkatha Freedom Party which led to the unanimous agreement that the
issues referred to the Commission by the State President and other related62
accountable manner. That is not yet the position. The past cannot be ignored
and it would be folly to expect all South Africans to forget recent history. In
virtually every enquiry held by the Commission in which the IFP or KZP are
involved the history of ANC actions and statements against the IFP and Dr.
Buthelezi are raised and for the IFP and KZP that is the backdrop against which
any current violence is judged.
In the view of the Committee the solution to those vital and difficult problems
are essentially of a constitutional, organisational and political nature. They are
obviously and directly linked with the present negotiation process and in all the
circumstances the Committee considers that it would not be appropriate to
suggest any solutions. That firm and visible action is required cannot be
The Committee would like to emphasize that particularly in a politically divided
society openness and candour are essential and particularly so from
Government departments and officials. There is no other way in which
confidence can be built in State institutions. Not only the factual situation
requires change – perceptions based on the wrongs of the past also have to
change and that process is a difficult one.
That decisions taken in 1986 may have been justified by the political situation
and policies of the time is not now relevant. What is relevant is that the public
of South Africa should know that what are considered by the majority of South
Africans to be unacceptable practices, have ceased.61
establishing the truth or falsity of such information. This experience
demonstrates the need for an objective authority to investigate allegations of
this nature – a body which has the confidence of all or at least of most of the
The Commission clearly does not have the capacity to establish the truth or
falsity of all allegations of public violence and intimidation which are made
daily by many people and organisations. It may be considered advisable to
establish such an independent body or to increase the staff of the Commission
to enable it to carry out this function.
The conduct of the SADF with regard to the training at the Caprivi must be
judged in the light of Government policy and the security and political situation
which prevailed in 1986. It would be quite inappropriate for this Committee to
comment on the wisdom or lack of it with regard to that conduct.
What concerns the Committee are the perceptions which are created by
current events viewed against the background of conduct which may have
occurred prior to 2 February 1990. No better example could be found than the
training of the Caprivi trainees and certain criminal conduct committed by
them since their return from Caprivi. Whether there is a direct link or not is
irrelevant to the conclusions which many people will draw or the perceptions
which will be created. So too, inefficient or ineffective investigations of such
criminal conduct will result in conclusions of police complicity and again
negative perceptions will be created. So, too, with regard to the KZP. The fact
that about 200 of its members were chosen for training by the SADF and that
they were selected with regard to their loyalty to the IFP is hardly a fact that
would instil confidence in the KZP on the part of members of parties or
organisations other than the IFP. In all of these cases the fault certainly does
not lie with those who draw the conclusions or hold the perceptions.
The Committee has found no justification in the allegations made in The
Weekly Mail concerning the involvement of the SADF in current violence in
South Africa. The perceptions of many South Africans that there is such
involvement are hardly surprising in the light of the activities of the CCB and
more recently the Department of Covert Collection.
The Committee has no doubt that these negative perceptions concerning the
SADF, SAP and KZP will not be removed until the majority of South Africans
believe that those institutions are conducting themselves in a lawful, open and60
Released: 1 June 1993
Committee: R J Goldstone (Chairman); D J Rossouw, SC; G Steyn; S Moshidi
Allegations were published by the Weekly Mail newspaper on 3 January 1992
concerning front companies of the South African Defense Force and the
training of Inkatha supporters at the Caprivi (South West Africa) in 1986.
Many of the allegations contained in The Weekly Mail articles were found by
the Committee to be unjustified. Others were wholly or partially justified.
The Weekly Mail was justified in publishing much of the information given to it
by Mbongani Khumalo. The South African public was entitled to be informed
thereof for two reasons. In the first place it was furnished by a senior member
of the IFP. In the second place the allegations in themselves were such that
there was a public interest in the information.
The Weekly Mail did make some extravagant allegations which went further
than was justified by the facts relied upon. However, it did not in any way
abuse the freedom of the press which is a fundamental right in any democratic
society. It is even more important in a society which is not yet a democracy
and which is in political transition. The Committee believes that investigative
journalists should in no way be dissuaded let alone be prevented from pursuing
their lawful objectives. Authorities should not act in a way which would have a
chilling effect on the work of such journalists and so prevent them from
bringing to light unlawful or unsatisfactory conduct on the part of Government
or any political parties or organisations.
The Commission has commented before on the duty of newspapers to exercise
restraint and judgment in times of violence and turbulence. In this regard
when there are procedures which make the authorities accountable to the
public this duty is easier to fulfil. Where there are no such bodies the press is
left very much to itself in what can be a lonely and dangerous profession. The
Commission is being approached more and more frequently by journalists with
unverified and serious allegations concerning public violence and intimidation.
In a substantial number of cases the Commission has been able to assist in59
For the reasons given, it is not possible to make any findings as to Cuna’s
motives for having given a false statement to the Vrye Weekblad, nor as to
whether any pressure was brought to bear on him to do so.
In the light of the limited nature of this particular inquiry and of the
conclusions reached on the basis of the evidence, it is not possible for the
committee to formulate any recommendations that will be of assistance in
curbing or limiting political or public violence or intimidation.58
Released: 27 May 1993
Committee: R M Wise, SC
A report was published in the Vrye Weekblad newspaper on 30 October 1992
concerning violence alleged to have been instigated by members of the South
African Police. The report was based on information supplied to the newspaper
by a certain Mr Joao Cuna (apparently also spelt Cunha).
The main article in the edition of the Vrye Weekblad of 30 October 1992 was
written by a reporter by the name of Pearlie Joubert and it takes up the whole
of pages 5 and 6. In very large letters in bold type the heading to this article
OPDRAG VAN DIE SAP”. In addition to the main report, there is an editorial
written by the Editor, Mr Max du Preez, the thrust of which is that the facts of
this event prove the existence of a “third force”.
Subsequent to the publication of this report, Cuna informed the Commission
that the information he gave to the Vrye Weekblad was false and that certain
persons instigated his conduct in making the report to the Vrye Weekblad.
On the basis of all the evidence presented to it, the committee concludes that
there is no evidence whatsoever for finding that Cuna participated in a
massacre as described in the article in the Vrye Weekblad of 30 October 1991
or otherwise.
The committee further finds that no evidence was presented to it to justify the
allegation in the said article that there is a third force instigating and
perpetrating violence of the kind alleged in that article. It would clearly be
beyond the jurisdiction and ambit of the committee to make any
pronouncements on the question of a third force in general, but in respect of
the specific incident inquired into the allegations as to the existence of a third
force are devoid of truth.
The committee is satisfied that the involvement of S.A. Defence Force
members and/or Police in a covert operation on the night of 29-30 July 1991
was incidental to and for the purpose of seeking to locate and recover AK47
rifles that had been smuggled into the country unlawfully.57
with the SAP will in fact increase the risk of a failure of justice. The argument
that the SAP must first prove itself before the community will co-operate is
counter-productive and will merely perpetuate the cycle of violence in which
the community is invariably the victim. Leaders and organisations should make
their followers aware of this. They should encourage them to participate in the
new forums and structures created for their benefit by the SAP. In this regard
it is also emphasised that the Community should participate in the meetings
initiated by the Train Accord.
The SARCC and Community leaders should make the commuters aware of the
fact that security fences are erected for their protection. The breach they make
today in order to evade rail fare may be the breach through which their killers
might attack and kill them tomorrow.56
Released: 6 May 1993
Committee: G Steyn (Chairman); S Moshidi; B M Ngoepe
A Committee was appointed to investigate violence committed on trains in the
Southern Transvaal. The commuter railway lines in the Southern Transvaal are
divided into three sections, namely, the Johannesburg section, the Soweto
section and the Germiston section.
The parties concerned should continue with the implementation of the
recommendations contained in the Committee’s Interim Report.
The violence on trains is inextricably linked to the political violence in the
country. There can therefore be no separate approach to the solution of train
violence. The problems caused by political rivalry and intolerance in general
can only be addressed on a long-term basis. There are no quick solutions. In
the mean time efforts should be made to find ways to break the cycle of
violence. This cannot be done without the active participation of those involved
in the violence. A solution cannot be achieved from outside. We therefore
recommend that the organisations involved should educate people at grass
roots level with regard to political tolerance, which is essential for free and fair
participation in the political process. Attempts should also be made to involve
hostel residents and township inhabitants in joint forums to create a better
understanding and to address their negative perceptions of each other.
It is recommended that the organisations concerned should exercise strict
control over their followers at grass roots level. Unacceptable behaviour by
their followers in the conduct of political activities should be disciplined.
The SAP should continue to address the question of reluctant witnesses. This
should be done by ensuring that cases are properly investigated so as to
ensure convictions. Victims of intimidation should be protected as far as
possible. Protection programmes should be explained to witnesses.
The lack of confidence and trust in the SAP should continue to receive urgent
attention. The primary aim of the newly established Community Relations
Division of the SAP should be to ensure acceptance of the SAP by the local
communities. At the same time the public should be made aware of and should
accept that the SAP is there for their protection and that failure to co-operate55
Released: 28 April 1993
Committee: R J Goldstone (Chairman); D J Rossouw
The committee expresses its appreciation that, as requested in its previous
report, the draft bill was published for general information and comment under
notice 153 of 1993 on 12 February 1993 in Government Gazette No 14590. It
is gratifying that the draft bill elicited wide public interest, judging by the
comments received from a number of different bodies and a variety of sources.
A number of the comments and suggestions were founded upon the
assumption that the proposed legislation was designed specifically to cater for
the current political climate and constitutional structures of South Africa. That
is a misconception. The inquiry by the Commission was directed at the rules
and procedures which should apply to public marches and demonstrations now
and in the future. With no variations of substance, the draft bill reflects the
broad consensus which emerged at the public hearings held in Cape Town in
July 1992. This draft legislation was formulated after consultation with political
parties which represent a substantial number if not the majority of South
African citizens.
The committee does not believe that the draft bill contains no errors or that it
cannot materially be improved. Indeed, appropriate amendments may be
considered necessary by a future legislature and, in a more perfect world, it
would have been preferable to await the election of such a body. However, the
Commission considered that mass marches and demonstrations are matters of
such urgency that the subject could not be deferred and that legislation is
desirable even before the completion of the present period of transition.
The almost universal adherence to the Interim Agreement on Mass Marches
and Demonstrations which the Commission made public in July 1992 is an
illustration of the manner in which people honour the terms of an agreement to
which they are parties. The committee hopes that this draft bill will be
regarded in a similar light by the majority of South Africans.54
response to the allegations of the SAP and the SADF, and if they are confirmed
or not denied to bring pressure to bear on the Transkeian authorities to
prohibit the use of any part of their territory as a springboard for attacks
against South African citizens.
That all the parties engaged in the effort to reach a negotiated settlement for a
future political dispensation in South Africa bring pressure to bear on the PAC
and APLA to suspend the armed struggle and to join these parties in their
search for a peaceful negotiated settlement.
That through negotiations pressure be brought to bear on the PAC and other
political parties to sign the National Peace Accord and to participate in the
peace structures.53
Released: 15 March 1993
Committee: G Steyn (Chairman); F Bam; N Coetzer
The Commission established a committee to conduct a preliminary
investigation and to hear evidence and to receive submissions from relevant
persons on the location of APLA camps, arms, ammunition, personnel and on
its operational activities.
This inquiry differs from all others held by the Commission in that some
interested parties have refused to participate in the proceedings. This is
regretted and the Commission expresses the hope that the Transkei
authorities, the PAC and APLA will reconsider their attitude. Should they or any
of them do so, the Commission will reopen the proceedings and allow any
evidence that has been placed before the Committee to be tested by crossexamination, the leading of further evidence, and the hearing of further
It is in the hope of a positive response from Transkei, the PAC and APLA that
all of the findings made thus far are provisional. If no response is forthcoming,
however; those parties cannot be heard to complain if those provisional
findings are regarded as conclusive by the local and international communities.
That the Security Forces protect the citizens of South Africa to the best of their
ability and arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of violence in terms of the
common law.
That the Commission request the international community to –
(1) Request all nations to withhold assistance to APLA;
(2) bring pressure to bear on the PAC to cease to condone and support acts of
violence by APLA and to join other political groups in South Africa in their
search for a negotiated settlement; and
(3) Ascertain from the Government of Tanzania its response to the allegations
by the SAP and the SADF concerning the training of APLA members in that
country and the existence there of an APLA base.
That the Commission request the South African Government and all political
groups in the Republic to ascertain from the Transkeian authorities their52
observed. Signatories should be slow to presume breaches by other signatories
and such complaints should, at any rate, be discussed and unilateral action
should be avoided.
Proper control at the ranks is important and the joint control and monitoring
committee as envisaged by the present interim peace agreement will have an
important role to play when it comes into operation. The marshals who control
the ranks should be employees of the joint committee and should, if possible,
not be taxi operators of members of a taxi association; this will ensure
neutrality. A code of conduct for marshals should be drawn up. A suitable
procedure to ensure the impartial, orderly and efficient passage of minibuses
at the ranks should be implemented.
The Town Council of Groblersdal took the excellent step of providing a rank
and thereafter attempted to mediate in the conflict. Its failure to negotiate
peace has led to the complete withdrawal by the Town Council from the affairs
of the taxi industry. We believe that some concrete interest on the part of the
Town Council of Groblersdal, even if at first this involves no more than
appointing a sympathetic person to serve as a listening post, may well have a
settling effect.
As has been said in previous reports, training in business and driving skills
would contribute to improving the situation.
Fair but firm and consistent law enforcement that is sensitive to the situation is
needed to combat the culture of lawlessness that has arisen in the area.51
but these taxis enjoyed an unfair advantage over the taxis using the
established rank.
When numerous attempts to mediate and resolve the problems bore no fruit
the Town Council rescinded its decision on the granting of the 36 zones and
formally appointed the GTA to administer the established rank. This was seen
by GUTAC as partiality on the part of the Town Council.
Another factor that had an impact on the situation was the granting by the
Town Council in March 1991 of 20 permits to use the established rank to
members of the Jane Furse Long Distance Taxi Association (JALDTA), an
affiliate of SALDTA. It later transpired that only six permits could validly have
been granted. The GTA was prepared to allow the “long-distance taxis” to
operate from the Groblersdal rank only if they paid a joining fee of R1 200,00.
The question of joining fees is a serious obstacle to peace.
During 1991 tension increased to the extent that opens warfare broke out,
resulting in serious loss of life, injury and damage. A number of court cases
ensued, but these did nothing to normalise relationships.
The chairmen and members of each of the taxi associations concerned should
address the causes of the public violence and intimidation that have been
outlined above.
The intolerance, selfishness and greed and the lust for power to which we have
referred above should be recognised and abandoned.
The successful mediation, so far, by the RDRC in the person of its facilitator,
the Rev Reddy, should not be allowed to fail. Mediation leading to concrete and
meaningful co-operation among taxi associations and with regard to the
administration of the ranks and the general conduct of the industry is the only
road to peace. Resorting to arms has accomplished nothing but fear, grief and
anger. The members of GUTAC and TOPIC are enjoined to work genuinely
towards peace. This will inevitably mean that some of the control and power
that each of the taxi associations now have will have to be relinquished in
order to co-operate with each other in the interests of the public. In particular,
the question of a membership fee that presents a serious obstacle to cooperation should be resolved urgently. Moreover, the provisions of the peace
agreement should be regarded as binding and should be scrupulously50
Released: 23 January 1993
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); M N S Sithole
Groblersdal is a town consisting predominantly of White residents, and is
surrounded by the KwaNdebele self-governing territory to the south and the
Lebowa self-governing territory to the north. The nearest Black township to
Groblersdal is Motetema, some eight kilometres distant. Groblersdal has grown
as a commercial centre and attracts customers from the surrounding areas.
Years ago customers used to travel to Groblersdal by bus, but increasing use
has been made of minibus taxis, to the extent that in 1983 a taxi rank with
quite a large capacity was built at the eastern limit of the town for R1,8
The taxi operators organised themselves into taxi associations, of which the
Nebo Taxi Association and the Dennilton Taxi Association are some of the
oldest examples. They were followed by the Jane Furse Taxi Association and
the Marble Hall Taxi Association. All these associations used the ranking
facilities at Groblersdal in relative peace and administered control themselves.
During 1988 an attempt was made to combine the various taxi associations
into a joint venture to be called the District of GTA. While this was still in
progress the GTA was born. It affiliated itself to SABTA. The way in which the
GTA came into being was resented by the older taxi associations and there is
evidence that that was the start of the tension that eventually led to open
One factor that aggravated the tension seems to have been the policy of the
Groblersdal Town Council not to interfere in the running of the ranking
facilities, where the GTA gradually took over to the exclusion of other taxi
The increased tension led to a consumer boycott at Groblersdal with a wide
range of demands, inter alia the allocation by the Town Council of taxi pick-up
and drop-off points in the town. The Groblersdal Town Council acceded to this
demand and 36 such bays were marked out. This, however, did not diminish
the tension between the GTA on one hand, which was in practice administering
the rank, and the four other taxi associations, which later formed GUTAC. The
result was that the 36 zones (as the bays were called) came to be used by
GUTAC as a separate ranking facility. This not only created a traffic problem,49
The members of the committee have spent a considerable amount of time
converting the suggestions of the International Panel as reflected in Towards
peaceful protest in South Africa into a draft bill “to consolidate legislation
pertaining to public gatherings; to provide for general measures setting out
procedures, requirements, powers and responsibilities of local and State
authorities, police and organisers of gatherings; and matters incidental
In the draft bill provision is made for the regulation of both static gatherings as
well as gatherings that take the form of processions or marches. It was felt
that, for the regulation of picketing, a thorough knowledge of labour law and
practice was necessary and that picketing contained several features that
distinguished it from gatherings. The Committee was therefore of the view that
the future regulation of picketing should be left to persons or bodies who were
qualified to do so.
The draft bill makes reference to current legislation on dangerous weapons and
its application to gatherings. The committee recognises that the current
legislation in this respect needs to be defined. Such clarification will have a
salutary effect on the conduct of gatherings.
The provisions of the three different Acts of Parliament dealing with
demonstrations and gatherings at or near court buildings, the buildings of
Parliament and the Union Buildings have been consolidated and incorporated
into the draft bill.
The committee suggests that the draft bill be circulated for public cognisance
and comment on ways to attain the ultimate objective of the committee, the
International Panel and the Commission, namely, to provide legislative
regulation for the exercise of the right to freedom of expression by way of
orderly and peaceful demonstrations or gathering.48
Released: 15 January 1993
Committee: R J Goldstone (Chairman); D J Rossouw; D van Zyl Smit
The Commission, when it established this committee, recorded recognition of
the fundamental right of free assembly and peaceful protest in a free and
democratic society as well as the concomitant duty of the police to protect
persons who exercise those rights, as well as others who may be affected by
such demonstrations. In South Africa unpredictable or undisciplined behaviour
by mass demonstrators or other members of the public and the police present
at mass demonstration create a very real potential for violence.
An International Panel of experts under the chairmanship of Professor Philip
Heyman, Director of the Harvard Law School Center for Criminal Justice, was
appointed by the Commission during April and May 1992 to advise the
committee on the most desirable rules and procedures for the conduct of mass
At the panel hearings a large measure of agreement was reached on broad
issues by all of the parties represented. Having regard to the importance of the
terms of that agreement, the Committee, in consultation with the International
Panel, detailed them in a document [hereinafter called “the Agreement”] which
was given to the legal representatives. A copy thereof is attached to this
The South African Police, African National Congress, the South African
Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions
subsequently accepted the terms set out in the Agreement.
The Inkatha Freedom Party [IFP], however, informed the Commission that it
was unable to agree to the terms in paragraph 3 of the Agreement. The
Commission regretted it that the IFP could not agree to the terms of paragraph
3 of the Agreement. Having regard to the present climate of violence in South
Africa the Commission felt that it could not hold back on an agreement as
important as this in order to “search” for compromise wording. The Agreement
was consequently published on 16 July 1992. The Commission believes that,
incomplete as it is, adherence to the Agreement by the signatories contributed
significantly to good order in the vast majority of mass demonstrations in
which followers and members of the signatories participated.47
Released: 21 December 1992
Committee: Prof D van Zyl Smit (Chairman); A J L Geyser
The immediate or proximate cause of the violence is relatively clear. As had
been the case in the events described by the previous committee, the violence
was committed in a cycle of attack and counter-attack between two groups,
the ANC, which dominates Bruntville township, and the IFP, which dominates
the hostel. Although witnesses brought before the committee by these two
parties denied that specific attacks on the other party had been committed by
their supporters, and suggested that they might have been the work of
criminal elements, no evidence was presented to the committee of any
systematic involvement of outside groups in the perpetration of the violence. It
follows that the key to the resolution of the violence lies, in the first instance,
in the relationship between the two groups.
It became clear to the committee during its investigation that its role was not
necessarily limited to making factual findings about the extent and causes of
the violence. Like the previous committee, it could play a limited role in
initiating the peace process in the area. A number of concrete proposals also
emerged from the evidence of witnesses and the submissions by the various
The primary proposal was that an outside mediator should be appointed to
facilitate the peace process. This was supported in principle by all the parties.
At the end of its final sitting the committee, having consulted the Chairman of
the Commission, Mr Justice Goldstone and the Chairman of the RDRC, Mr M C
Pretorius, announced that it would ask the Association of Law Societies to
recommend such a person. Once a name had been put forward, the ANC and
the IFP would be asked whether they supported the appointment. This has
been done, and the parties have agreed to meet the proposed mediator, Mr
Nico Coetzer.46
Released: 21 December 1992
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
A list of the Committee reports that has been been submitted to the State
President and published since the Commission’s Second Interim Report of 29
April 1992.
Commission reported that there was no improvement in the political rivalry
between the ANC and IFP. Indeed, in Natal/KwaZulu the position has, if
anything, deteriorated. Leaders of both the ANC and the IFP continue to attack
each other and each other’s parties in terms that clearly constitute breaches of
the National Peace Accord. The absence of an appropriate sanction for such
breaches has often been raised. Consideration should be given to agreement
on the withholding of permission to address public meetings for a given time as
a legally enforceable penalty for clear breaches of this kind.
The Commission was informed by the KZP that many months ago it was
decided that the G3 rifles that had been issued to tribal authorities in KwaZulu
would be withdrawn. This question has become a matter of intense debate and
objection by the ANC. According to the KZP evidence, the delay in completing
the withdrawal of these firearms is due to the slow delivery of substitute, less
lethal weapons. The Commission recommends that this matter, on which there
is no longer a difference of opinion, should be expedited, if necessary with the
assistance of the Government.
The Commission again expresses its concern that the flouting of the law with
regard to the carrying and displaying of dangerous weapons by the IFP and its
top leadership in Johannesburg and Durban some months ago has met with no
action from the authorities concerned.45
Released: 15 December 1992
R J Goldstone: Chairman of the Commission
At the end of September 1992 it was widely reported in the press that the ANC
had alleged a presence of Renamo soldiers in KwaZulu. Northern Natal leaders
of the ANC stated that they had received the information from KwaZulu
policemen. Their presence was linked to alleged hit squad training.
The allegations were thoroughly investigated by Major F Dutton and his team
including the active participation of Attorney David Pistorius and
Superintendent P Brihl, the Danish policeman who is assisting the Commission.
It appears from the investigation that during August 1992 approximately ten
armed men were seen at a bar at Nseleni. They were black and spoke
Portuguese. What they were doing there it has not been possible to ascertain.
There appears to be no doubt that the presence of these men in KwaZulu was
the sole origin of the belief or rumour concerning the relationship between the
KwaZulu Police and Renamo soldiers.
The report to the Commission from the Natal Investigation Team shows that no
trace could be found of any Renamo or any other foreign troops or men under
arms anywhere in KwaZulu. Their investigation included a surprise visit to a
training camp of the KwaZulu Police.
The Commission requested the KwaZulu Police to furnish it with a report of any
investigation conducted by it into the alleged Renamo soldiers. It has been
informed by the Commissioner of the KwaZulu Police that their investigations
revealed no substantiation for the allegations. He has also assured the
Commission that the KwaZulu Police has no involvement in hit squad activities.
On the basis of the investigation carried out by its Natal Investigation Team
the Commission is of the view that, on the basis of the evidence thus far
presented, there is no justification for the allegations of a Renamo connection
with the KwaZulu Police, whether officially or unofficially, or of the presence of
Renamo soldiers in KwaZulu. If further evidence is placed before the
Commission it will immediately be investigated.44
The provisions of formal ranks are an important priority that should enjoy the
urgent attention of the municipalities concerned, inter alia Alexandra and
Sandton. In the case of Sandton some proposals have already been made; we
believe that there should be no delay in implementing the most suitable way of
establishing ranks.
In Alexandra itself, the proposal of a “main” rank with “subranks” [like bus
stops] scattered throughout the township may be a subject for urgent study
and implementation as this would have several beneficial results: (a) It would
relieve the congestion [and tension] at the main rank; (b) it would provide
commuters with easy access to transport; (c) it would relieve the congestion
on Alexandra’s narrow roads.
Proper control at the ranks is important and, if a joint committee consisting of
members of the taxi associations and the community comes into being, it will
have an important role to play. The marshals who control the ranks should be
employees of the joint committee and should, if possible, not be taxi operators
or members of taxi associations; this would ensure neutrality. A code of
conduct for marshals should be drawn up. A suitable procedure to ensure the
orderly and efficient passage of minibuses at the ranks should be
The allocation of routes will also be a priority for a joint committee. A study
should be undertaken to find the most suitable solution to this cause of
friction. The methods used by the Durban City Police may fruitfully be studied
to this end, and it is suggested that the Sandton and Alexandra municipalities
become acquainted with these methods.
A lack of business skills hampered operators in understanding the nature of
competition and the economic forces involved. Competence in dealing with the
situation could thereof be improved.
Fair, firm and consistent law enforcement is needed to combat the general
lawlessness and lack of discipline that have become rife. All law enforcement
agencies operating in this field, e.g. traffic inspectors, inspectors of the LRTB,
the police and prosecutors, should co-operate to this end.43
Released: 4 December 1992
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); G Steyn
The minibus industry in the township of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, and
the minibus routes leading from Alexandra.
The inquiry into violence in the minibus industry in Alexandra township is an
offshoot of the main inquiry into public violence and intimidation in the taxi
industry that has been taking place in Cape Town for much of this year.
Alexandra is a township located in the industrial area north of Johannesburg. It
has been in existence for many years and has an established community. The
township is not served by either bus or rail transport; minibuses (or combi
taxis) are the only form of transport available to residents.
There is no formal rank for minibuses in Alexandra or, for that matter, in
Sandton. They consequently park to pick up and drop passengers wherever
they find space on the shoulders of roads and on pavements. It was said in
evidence before the committee that an estimated 500 or more vehicles operate
at one place in Wynberg, Sandton, during peak hours. At this “rank” there are
no facilities such as shelters, toilets, etc; there are, however, stalls at which
vendors sell their wares, which add to the press of people in a relatively small
area. Bringing order to the situation has been attempted only by the warring
taxi associations themselves. It is not surprising that, when tensions mount,
the “ranks” are the places where trouble erupts.
The first step towards the resolution of the friction in the Alexandra minibus
industry should be to establish among all minibus operators the principal of
communication should be established between the two taxi associations and
not only between the two chairmen.
Mediation has been in die hands of the Wits/Vaal Regional Dispute Resolution
Committee and the Interim Crisis Committee for Alexandra [ICC], which should
continue their efforts. The ICC and, in particular, the Rev. Dr Carmichael have
the knowledge of the local scene, experience and skills necessary for
successful negotiations.42
A prima facie murder case exists against Ndebele and certain members of the
Phola Park SDU. The said cases should be referred to the Attorney-General for
a decision in this regard.41
Released: 17 November 1992
Committee: M N S Sithole (Chairman); L Baqwa; R S K Tucker
The committee was called upon to focus its inquiry on the phenomenon and
incidents of public violence and alleged intimidation that occurred in the
Tokoza area from three specific incidents that gave rise to considerable
concern about the escalation of violence in the area, namely –
1. the assassination of 18 hostel dwellers who were on their way to a
meeting of hostel dwellers at the Tokoza stadium on Sunday, 8 September
1991 (“the first incident”);
2. the murder of Sam Ntuli, which occurred on 29 September 1991 (“the
second incident”); and
3. the assassination of Blacks near the Natalspruit Hospital after the funeral
procession for Sam Ntuli on 7 October 1991 (“the third incident”).
The committee subsequently decided to inquire into a further four incidents
that occurred after the commencement of its public hearings on 15 November
1991. The four further incidents were –
1. an attack on a minibus transporting employees of the Rand Water Board
on the Old Vereeniging Road immediately adjacent to Phola Park on 26
February 1992 (“the fourth incident”);
2. the attack on residents of the Crossroads shack settlement on 3 April
1992 (“the fifth incident”);
3. the attack on the Zonkizizwe shack settlement on 6 April 1992 (“the sixth
incident”); and
4. the 32 Battalion operation in Phola Park on 8 April 1992 (“the seventh
Unlike other specific incidents that have been the subject of inquiry by
committees of the Commission, this inquiry developed into and inquiry into the
general malaise of violence in the area in question. Only in respect of the first,
fourth and seventh incidents are we able to find a particular grouping
responsible for the attacks, and even then neither we nor the investigating
officer have been able to say with any certainty which individuals were
responsible (with the exception of Ndebele in the third incident).40
The Committee finds that there is no evidence to support any of the allegations
contained in the editions of the Weekly Mail dated 8 and 14 May 1992 and 15
to 22 May of the SAP having planned and instigated violence in the Vaal area,
and that such allegations are devoid of truth.
Nothing in the evidence before the Committee justified the allegations that the
SAP had a base which was linked with the planning of assassinations in the
Vaal Area or the innuendo that the police were involved, with or without
others, in a death campaign or in “a silent war against leaders and activists of
the ANC and its allies…”
The Committee finds further that there was never any basis to justify the
allegations that Capt A.D du Plessis, Constable Johannes Nkwane, Warrant
Officer Thys Nolte or Sergeant George Supra were in any way involved with
planning or committing acts of violence. The allegations with regard to them
appear to have been based solely on the fact that they were part of the Crime
Intelligence Service of the police and that, as such, they were associated with
or involved in the covert operations being carried out by the CIS and that,
when confronted by Mr Drew Forrest and others who investigated the matter
on behalf of the Weekly Mail, they behaved secretively and were reluctant to
talk or to disclose information. In the absence of other evidence, this is clearly
an insufficient basis given that it was common cause that the police were
indeed conducting covert operations for the gathering of intelligence for the
purpose of combating crime.39
Released: 27 October 1992
Committee: R M Wise, SC
Investigation into the allegations published by the Weekly Mail newspaper on 8
and 15 May 1992 concerning the planning or instigation of acts of violence by
members of the South African Police in the Vaal area.
The evidence presented to the full Commission at that preliminary inquiry
consisted of statements made under oath by Mr Drew Forrest, a journalist in
the employ of the Weekly Mail and the author of the principal articles
concerned; by Mr A. Harber, the editor of the Weekly Mail; and by Col.
Potgieter, the officer commanding the Crime Intelligence Service of the SAP in
the Vaal area, on behalf of Lt Gen P.J. Viljoen. From this evidence and from the
articles themselves it was clear that the allegations concerning the planning
and instigation of violence were based, in the first instance, on statements by
one Daniel Kolisang (“Kolisang”) and one Solly Mngomezulu (“Mngomezulu”)
and, in the second instance, on inferences drawn from such statements and
other facts and alleged facts, which were ascertained by Mr Forrest and others
during the course of their investigations.
These articles in the Weekly Mail, in addition to containing allegations about
the planning and/or instigation of acts of violence by members of the SAP, also
dealt at length with other matters, viz. the facts and alleged facts referred to
above. In particular there was much about the use by the South African Police
of unmarked vehicles with false number plates; about the “safe” houses which
were used by the police and which were not registered in the name of the SAP
but in the names of other persons; of the use of page (sic) (presumably
“paging”) numbers and the persons or companies in whose names such
numbers were registered and about the identity and details of a number of
policemen most of whom were alleged to have used false names.
The Committee finds that the statements by Daniel Kolisang and Solly
Mngomezulu with regard to the SAP having planned and instigated violence,
which constituted the basis of reports by the Weekly Mail in its editions of 8
and 15 May 1992, were totally false.38
were guilty on 7 September 1992 cannot recur. The results of such enquiry
and the steps taken pursuant thereto should be made public.
The Attorney-General of Ciskei should investigate criminal charges against any
person responsible for death or injury of any person shot in or in the vicinity of
the Bisho stadium on 7 September 1992.
The Ciskei Council of State should publicly acknowledge that members of the
CDF acted reprehensibly and unacceptably in reacting in a wholly
disproportionate manner and causing the unnecessary deaths and injuries to
people who were fleeing from them.37
In the vicinity of the Bisho Stadium, which is close to the South African Border,
members of the Ciskei Defence Force (CDF) shot at a group of the marchers?
In consequence 29 people were killed and hundreds were injured. According to
the CDF some 425 rounds of ammunition were fired by their members.
There is only one material dispute, viz whether shots were fired at the soldiers.
Those in control of any region, city or town anywhere in South Africa, including
the TBVC homelands, should tolerate and allow complete freedom of
expression and of peaceful assembly.
Mass action must be organized in such a manner that all reasonable steps are
taken to avoid violence. At the cost of repetition, that can only be achieved by
removing, as far as possible, the risks created by unpredictable conduct.
The leaders of all organizations which use forms of mass public demonstrations
should do so only as a peaceful means to popularise political policies and
propagate political changes. they should immediately and publicly abandon any
political action calculated to result in conflict and violence.
In order to avoid physical conflict and violence, mass demonstrations should
not be used as a means of causing serious and non-temporary disturbance or
as a means of direct political intimidation.
The leadership of the TBVC homelands and of the self-governing territories
should forthwith publicly declare themselves willing to tolerate and facilitate
reasonable and negotiated public mass demonstrations in the areas under their
The leadership of the Alliance should publicly censure Mr Kasrils and other
persons who were responsible for the decision to lead demonstrators through
the gap in the fence and thereby knowingly or negligently expose them to the
danger of death and injury.
The officers commanding the CDF should immediately conduct a full enquiry
into the training and discipline of their members with the intention of taking
such steps as may be necessary to ensure that a recurrence of the
undisciplined, unprofessional and wholly unacceptable conduct of which they36
Released: 29 September 1992
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission); D J Rossouw (Vice-Chairman); M
N S Sithole; L Baqwa
On 7 September 1992 a large protest march on Bishop, the capital of Ciskei,
was organized by an alliance of the African National Congress (ANC), the
Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African
Communist Party (SACP).
The principal demand of the alliance which was to be highlighted by the march
was for free political activity and an end to violence in the Ciskei. Political
repression and violence in the Ciskei were associated with Brigadier Gqozo’s
regime and so the call for free political activity and an end to violence was
linked to a demand for his removal.
The Ciskei authorities at all times were unwilling to grant permission for any
demonstration on Ciskei soil notwithstanding attempts to obtain an agreement
which was initiated by the South African Government, the SAP and nongovernmental organizations.
After the commencement of the march some Alliance leaders went ahead “to
reconnoitre” the situation at the border. On arrival at the border they noticed
that the road had been blocked by rolls of razor wire to prevent the marchers
from proceeding along the road to Bisho. There was also razor wire placed
strategically to channel the marchers to their left and into the Bisho Stadium
on the southern side. That stadium is situated very close to the border. The
leaders met with the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, Mr John Hall,
the Chairman of the NPS, Dr Antonie Gildenhuys and other observers who were
present in order to assist in keeping the proceedings peaceful. Mr Hall and Dr
Gildenhuys informed the Alliance leaders who included Messrs Cyril
Ramaphosa, Chris Hani and Ronnie Kasrils that the Ciskei authorities were
determined that the Alliance supporters would not be allowed into any part of
Ciskei other than the Bisho Stadium. The Alliance leaders indicated that if they
were prevented from entering Bisho they would have to consider their options.
They did not accept that the Ciskei security forces had any right to frustrate
their plans. Representatives of the NPS offered their services as go-betweens
and it was agreed that there would be discussions between them and the
leaders of the march when it arrived at the razor wire barrier.35
Released: 21 September 1992
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
Not all hostels are associated with violence – criminality in a number of hostels.
Not all hostels are associated with violence. The problem should properly be
seen as one of criminality in a limited number of hostels. Precisely which
localities are affected is a matter that the committee will have to investigate.
The criminality that is associated with those hostels is a matter that must be
addressed and dealt with by the Government, which has the primary
responsibility for maintaining law and order.
In view of the advice from its committee that violence is associated with only a
limited number of hostels, the Commission consider that its earlier
recommendation that all hostels be fenced off is no longer appropriate. The
Commission has accordingly decided to modify that recommendation so as to
make it applicable, where practical, only to those hostels that have been
associated with violence.
The committee has drawn to the attention of the Commission various issues
that arise in relation to the future development of hostels. What is clear to the
Commission is that the fullest consultation is required between all parties
concerned if future conflict surrounding these issues is to be avoided.
To assist in facilitating discussion and consultation between all parties
concerned, the Commission has requested the Human Sciences Research
Council to undertake a project aimed at developing a proper understanding of
the many sensitive issues that underlie future hostels development. That
project is already in progress.34
accordingly recommends that the Government give urgent assistance in this
The Committee mentioned in its report that whenever a group of attackers was
identified, they turned out to be hostel dwellers. Hostels have for some time
been a cause of concern in the violence situation. It is the view of the
Committee that this aspect has to date not enjoyed the attention it deserves.
The Committee is particularly perturbed about the apparent lack of control
over the hostels and also the lack of clarity, as to who exercises authority over
them. As this is a point of great concern, the Committee recommends that the
Commission of Inquiry regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and
Intimidation urgently consider appointing a committee to look into the whole
issue of hostels. Pending that, however, the Committee suggests the
immediate implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraph
3.2.7 of the Second Interim Report of the Commission to the State President,
dated 29 April 1992, regarding the fencing of hostels, the establishment of a
police presence, the prevention of carrying of weapons by hostel dwellers and
their protection.
Brigadier James Moore, Manager of Spoornet Security Services suggested that
to deal with train violence successfully a national strategy should be devised.
He submitted that the authorities’ response to violence is reactive. Actions by
the SAP, the SARCC and Spoornet are not co-ordinated. They do not always
act with the same purpose. This leads to wastage of resources. He accepted
that the violence on trains spilled over from the ongoing conflict in the
townships. The Committee is of the opinion that the conflict goes beyond just
the train violence. We accordingly recommend that the question of a National
Strategy to prevent violence can be more properly dealt with by the
Commission of Inquiry regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and
The Committee recommends that the main objective and aim of the SARCC,
namely, “to provide rail commuter services” should be extended to include the
provision of reliable, safe and cost-effective commuter services which meet the
reasonable needs and standards of the community. This would place greater
emphasis on the duty to ensure the safety of commuters.33
The Committee is aware of the ongoing investigation into the system of
policing on railway premises and of the reorganisation initiated and
implemented by Major-General Bester on 1 June 1992. In addition, the
Committee feels that the function of guarding access control points at stations
on a full-time basis is not an SAP function. This function could more practically
be performed by the SARCC. Accordingly, we support the suggestion by MajorGeneral Bester that consideration be given to the creation of a guards corps,
recruited from the community and employed by the SARCC. These recruits
should receive proper police training. Their duty should be to secure access to
the stations. (They should not be ticket controllers.) They should be in a
distinctive uniform and be under the control of the Manager of Spoornet
Security Services. Every effort should be made to ensure that the community
is also involved in this system.
The Visible Policing Division as deployed on the railways is performing a
function which is primarily the duty of the SAP. The reconstruction of this
division for purposes of policing on the railways, as implemented from 1 June
1992 by Major-General Bester is fully supported by the Committee. The
Committee has noted, with approval, Major-General Bester’s remarks that the
aim of this restructuring is to ensure continuity and to contribute towards the
creation of commuters’ confidence in the SAP.
The Committee recommends that members of the SAP deployed on stations
and trains should, as soon as possible, be appointed “authorised officers” by
the SARCC for purposes of the Control of Access to Public Premises and
Vehicles Act, 1985.
The Committee recommends that existing facilities for the SAP on railway
stations be improved. For example, the Committee is not convinced that the
ZOZO huts provide sufficient safety and comfort. Communication systems
should at all times be reliable.
The SARCC should consider moving access and exit control points from the
platforms to the outside of the stations. (At two-thirds of the stations these
points are present on platforms.) Those stations without access and exit
control points should receive urgent attention.
Because the SARCC is unable to generate sufficient funds to provide the
necessary safety measures, the Committee’s recommendations will be
rendered ineffective unless sufficient funds are made available. The Committee32
Transnet Limited, the legal successor to SATS. For this purpose the SARCC,
entered into a business agreement supplemented by a management
agreement with Transnet Limited to operate such commuter services and to
maintain its assets.
According to evidence before the Committee, the assets received by the
SARCC were, in general, in a state of disrepair. At many stations fences,
shelters, waiting rooms, toilets and benches had been vandalised.
As a result of the incorporation of the former South African Railway Police
(SARP) into the SAP in 1986, police functions on railway premises were scaled
down drastically. This resulted in a negative perception of unsafeness and a
decrease in commuters. At the same time evasion of rail fares increased.
The Committee was informed that the State Security Council resolved on 15
October 1990 that security on the public component of the SARCC was the
responsibility of the SAP and that the SARCC was responsible for the security
of the non-public component. The public component of the SARCC’s business
consists of the stations and trains. Security in this area involves the
maintenance of law and order on all stations and trains. Security with regard to
the non-public component entails the protection of property and cash and
ensuring the safety of staff. Spoornet Security Services provides this.
The violence on the trains cannot be separated from the ongoing violence in
the townships. The primary causes and participants appear to be the same.
The Committee agrees, in this regard, with the findings set out in the Second
Interim Report, dated 29 April 1992, of the Commission of Inquiry regarding
the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation. This Committee is also
unable on the evidence before it to apportion blame. Whenever a group of
attackers was identified they turned out to be hostel dwellers. There were,
however, other unidentified groups. Victims were members of various Black
ethnic groups. No definite pattern could be established.
All leaders are urged to do their utmost to curb the violence as a matter of
urgency. Structures of the National Peace Accord should also be utilised.31
Released: 6 July 1992
Committee: Mr G Steyn (Chairman); Mr S Moshidi; Mr B M Ngoepe
Report on violence committed on trains in the Southern Transvaal. The
commuter railway lines in the Southern Transvaal are divided into three
sections, namely, the Johannesburg section, the Soweto section and the
Germiston section. The inquiry was confined to these sections.
The number of people who lost their lives during 1 July 1991 to 27 April 1992
totaled 138. Deaths and injuries have always occurred on the rail commuter
system. In the past they were caused by both unlawful acts and accidents of a
general nature. The evidence is, however, that the violence gradually assumed
a political character. Violence is at present often committed by groups of
attackers who kill or injure commuters indiscriminately.
There are approximately 27 hostels in this area. Most of them are adjacent to
the rail system. They are in the vicinity of townships and, in some areas, next
to emerging squatter camps. It is common cause that violence has been raging
in the townships for some time. This violence is the result of ongoing conflict
between, amongst others, hostel dwellers and township residents. In recent
times the violence has spilled over on to the trains. People in trains are easy
targets because they have, over the years, formed themselves into groups that
always use the same coach on the same train. This happened for various
reasons, such as self-protection and religious, criminal and political interests.
As a result, a person entering a wrong coach might find himself a victim.
It is common because that ordinary criminal take advantage of political
instability. This occurs on trains as well. It is not always easy to distinguish
ordinary criminal activity from political violence. This is especially so where
offenders are not apprehended, which is the case with the vast majority of
Owing to interference by commuters, many coach doors do not close. It is
therefore easy to be thrown out or to fall through those doors. This also makes
it difficult to establish the true cause of the death or injury. This problem is
exacerbated by the reluctance of witnesses to come forward.
The State is the sole shareholder in the SARCC. The SARCC is managed by a
Board of Control, whose members are appointed by the Minister. The SARCC
does not itself operate the rail commuter service. This service is operated by30
the representatives from Midrand refer to the LRTB as a “remote issuing body,
unrelated to local conditions”. On the other hand, the Chief Traffic Officer of
Midrand testified that there was good co-operation between his office and the
All the taxi associations are affiliated, directly or indirectly, to SABTA (South
African Black Taxi Association) and it seems to the Committee that SABTA has
an important role to play in mediating in a dispute of this nature.
The Council of the Municipality of Midrand, within whose area Ivory Park lies,
has, with the support of all the taxi associations established the Midrand Taxi
Forum in an attempt to facilitate conflict resolution. It is still too early to
determine whether the Forum will play a valuable role and whether its
decisions will have a lasting effect. Solutions imposed on the industry by
outsiders do not work.29
Released: 2 July 1992
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); L S van Zyl
Violence in the taxi industry in the Midrand area.
On Thursday 11 June 1992 the Committee established to inquire into the
violence occurring in the taxi industry held a preliminary inquiry regarding the
causes of violence associated with taxis in the Midrand area especially in Ivory
The transport of passengers residing in Ivory Park has become an issue of
conflict between two existing taxi associations which erupted into violence and
resulted in the death of at least two persons, one being a passenger, and
injuries to two other passengers. Ivory Park is a fairly new squatter community
of some 70 000 persons. The roots of the discord are to be found in the
commercial competition between taxi associations for the new market opening
up there.
A circumstance that has an impact on the situation is the fact that Ivory Park
does not seem to receive any official recognition in the sense that the
Municipality’s application to have it declared a township has not after eight
months been approved. The result is that the Municipal law enforcement
agencies do not enjoy official recognition in the area. The Mayor of Midrand
complains that the South African Police are understaffed and ill-equipped to
deal with some 200 000 people in the whole Midrand area. No armoured
vehicles are available and the area is policed from Halfway House, some 20
kilometres away, when Olifantsfontein, a mere 2 kilometres away, would be
the natural command post.
The most obvious steps that can be taken to alleviate the position are the
official recognition of Ivory Park as a township and the accompanying
upgrading of the Police presence and facilities in the area.
As in other parts of the country, the complaint emerged that the permit system
as administered by the Local Road Transportation Board (LRTB) was ineffective
and was a contributory cause of tension. This may be due to two actors: first,
that two LRTB’s had jurisdiction in the area and, secondly, that the type of
permit that was issued, i.e. the “radius” permit, led to misunderstandings and
tension. In the Interim Report tabled in Parliament on 19 June it was indicated
that the existing permit system would require to be revised. In this instance28
Released: 10 June 1992
Committee: D J Rossouw (Chairman); L S van Zyl
The causes of violence in the taxi industry in the Western Cape.
The roots of the taxi war in the Western Cape go back many years. Permits to
conduct taxi businesses were granted to Blacks who qualified for residence
rights in terms of section 10 of the Blacks (Urban Areas) Consolidation Act,
1945 (since repealed). These permits limited the scope of business to the Black
townships, as the name of the first Black taxi association, LAGUNYA (for
Langa, Guguletu and Nyanga) indicate. An informal taxi sector developed
among relative newcomers to the area who did not qualify for residence rights
and consequently were also unable to obtain taxi permits. These “pirates” plied
their trade outside the townships, i.e. to and from the city centre. These
“pirates” (who later formed WEBTA [Western Cape Black Taxi Association])
were tolerated by LAGUNYA while they were “unlawful” and they were being
arrested, prosecuted and fined; their vehicles were impounded and often
declared forfeit.
The trickle of newcomers to the city over the years swelled to a flood in the
1980s, and especially after influx control was abolished in 1986. The Local
Road Transportation Board (LRTB) relaxed its strict requirements for permits
(the process referred to as deregulation) and many WEBTA members obtained
permits and were allowed to continue to service routes from the townships to
the city. LAGUNYA perceived this development as a double-cross by the LRTB
and the legalising of WEBTA as a threat. LAGUNYA’s feeling of grievance and
its perception of having “earned” its right to a permit through having qualified
on residence, and WEBTA’s perception that it had “earned” its right to a permit
through years of persecution, set the scene for conflict.
The conflict has taken on frightening proportions and despite the intervention
by various persons and bodies it has flared up again and again. The cost of the
war, calculated up to the first quarter of this year, is awesome; some 66
people have been killed and damage to property runs to R3,6 million.27
peace-keeping force and its responsibility towards the population for whose
benefit it is maintaining law and order.
That the South African Police and the Attorney-General of the Witwatersrand
urgently complete investigations into acts of violence, including murder and
rape, allegedly committed by members of 32 Battalion against residents of
Phola Park and that, where appropriate, the offenders be brought to trial;
That 32 Battalion should not again be used for peace-keeping duties anywhere
in South Africa; and
That the Defence Force give urgent consideration to any steps that may be
necessary to ensure that especially senior officers are made aware of their
special role in peace-keeping duties and that the attitude of the captain
referred to in the committee’s report is not one generally found in the officer
Park in the first place was not communicated to the soldiers or alternatively
was communicated to the soldiers and was then carried out in a totally
ineffectual manner by the soldiers.
In the process of conducting the sweep, a number of members of 32 Battalion
entered shacks of the residents of Phola Park and, as acknowledged by the
legal representatives of 32 Battalion on behalf of 32 Battalion, committed
unspecified “acts of violence” against “a resident or residents” of Phola Park.
Generic evidence of the circumstances under which these acts of violence were
committed was led by the legal representatives of 32 Battalion as suggested
justification therefore. The committee cannot however find any grounds of
justification for acts of violence having been committed against innocent
residents of Phola Park. These acts of violence constituted unlawful acts of
assault. It was not in the committee’s mandate nor was evidence led on which
the committee could come to any specific findings of rape, murder or other
specified assault. The committee recommends however that as a matter of the
utmost urgency the alleged acts of assault, rape and murder should be
investigated and where appropriate the offenders brought to trial.
The committee heard evidence from the captain in command of 32 Battalion on
the night in question. He justified the use of what would normally be regarded
as excessive force by soldiers on the grounds that they were involved in what
amounted to a war. His evidence caused the committee considerable concern,
and raises the distinction between soldiers fighting a war as opposed to a
peacekeeping force maintaining law an order. The committee can envisage
circumstances in which a war is being fought and in which, as a follow-up to a
gun battle, soldiers might be excused for using what would normally be
regarded as excessive force not only against the soldiers against whom they
were fighting but also against the civilians of the opposing nation. There is
however a vast distinction between those circumstances and the circumstances
on the night of 8 April when members of 32 Battalion found themselves in
what amounted to a gun battle with a group of individuals, but in which their
responsibility as a peace-keeping force for the maintenance of law and order in
relation to the civilian population of Phola Park was in no way affected. Under
those circumstances the use of excessive force cannot be justified and the
committee is most concerned that the attitude of the captain in question might
prevail elsewhere in the Defence Force. This being the case the committee
recommends as a matter of the utmost urgency that all Defence Force units
involved in the maintenance of law and order should have this critical
distinction drawn for them, and should be trained concerning the role of a25
Released: 10 June 1992
Committee: M N S Sithole (Chairman); L G S Baqwa; R S K Tucker
On the evening of 8 April 1992 shooting was heard from Phola Park.(Phola
Park: the shack settlement of Phola Park was established at the southern end
of Thokoza township, near Alberton, immediately adjacent to the Old
Vereeniging Road. In a very limited area such as Phola Park there are
approximately 4 000 to 5 000 very small shacks. There are very narrow access
ways which cannot be described as streets and which do not provide free
vehicular access. There are no open spaces and an average of five to six
people live in each shack.) A platoon of 32 Battalion of the South African
Defence Force investigated the shooting and on arrival came under fire. One
member of 32 Battalion was wounded by a bullet fired from Phola Park as he
disembarked from a Casspir. Two further platoons were then ordered to go to
the assistance of the first platoon. The committee is satisfied on the evidence
which it heard that at least some members of the Phola Park self-defence unit
were involved in a gun battle with 32 Battalion, and that AK 47s were used in
that battle. During the battle a substantial number of shots were fired by both
sides and more than 200 rounds were fired by members of 32 Battalion. A
number of bullets penetrated the shacks of Phola Park residents, and at least
two residents were injured in their shacks by bullets and subsequently died. In
both instances there were bullet holes in the shacks in which the two people in
question were fatally injured.
When the gun battle stopped the captain (who was located at the Steunpunt)
gave an order to Lieutenant Ras, who was in command of the three platoons at
Phola Park, to conduct a sweep of a section of Phola Park. Evidence was given
that the reason for giving the command was to look for people who might have
been injured or killed because they had been caught in the cross-fire of the
gun battle and to look for firearms. It was acknowledged that a secondary
purpose of the sweep was to pick up any people who had actually been
involved in the gun battle. Evidence was led that in conducting the sweep all
the soldiers were disciplined, under reasonably direct control and that they
looked at shacks for signs of bullet holes and that if there were bullet holes
they made a point of ensuring that no-one in the shack was injured. In at least
one instance a person who was injured or killed by a bullet, and where there
was a bullet hole in the side of the shack, was not found until four days later.
In another instance there is evidence that a soldier or soldiers actually entered
a shack and nevertheless left an injured person lying in the shack who died the
following morning. In either event the reason that was given for entering Phola24
The Commission is convinced that the carrying of any dangerous weapons in
public should be outlawed – whether in respect of political meetings or at any
other place. In Natal, it is predominantly members of the Inkatha Freedom
Party who insist on this unacceptable practice. Other Zulu men do not find it
necessary to do so, either for cultural or any other reasons. The Commission
finds it quite unacceptable that even the limited ban on the carrying of
weapons to political meetings has been ignored by the Inkatha Freedom Party
on at least one occasion during a march through the streets of Johannesburg.
This public flaunting of the law in the presence of a large South African Police
presence is unfortunate and should not be allowed to occur again in the future.
Steps should be taken urgently to prohibit the carrying in public of any
dangerous weapons at any time at all.
No information has been received by the Commission that could enable it to
make any findings relating to a systematic or nationally organized campaign of
violence. It is a cause for comment that, notwithstanding the absence of
evidence, political leaders, especially in the African National Congress and
Inkatha Freedom Party, have frequently made wide-ranging allegations placing
the blame for violence on other political parties and on the State security
The deployment of an effective police presence in local communities who are
able to work in close co-operation with local dispute resolution committees
established in terms of the Peace Accord.
The new Division of Internal Stability would appear to be the only suitable
branch of the South African Police for such work. This branch should also work
in co-operation with justices of the peace as soon as that office has been
created in terms of the Peace Accord.
The investigative functions of the Commission will continue to play an
important role in relation to the curbing of ongoing violence. In this regard the
Commission should as soon as possible be granted adequate means and
procedures for offering protection to witnesses who testify before it or its
The widely held view by a large number of people in KwaZulu and
neighbouring areas that the KwaZulu Police are a private army of the Inkatha
Freedom Party is a matter of great concern in relation to the curbing of
violence in those areas. No less disturbing is the evidence that has been given
concerning unlawful activities by senior members of the KwaZulu Police. As
some of these allegations are at present under investigation by a committee of
the Commission, it would not be proper to comment further on this matter at
the present time. Criminal charges are at present being investigated by the
Commissioner of the KwaZulu Police in consequence of evidence placed before
the committee about the false identity given to a member of that police force.
Organizations whose members are responsible for violence have a heavy
responsibility to control and impose discipline upon their members. This applies
no less to the South African Defence Force and Police than to the African
National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party. All of those organizations
should establish committees to be responsible for immediately investigating
and reporting to the Peace Committee and the Commission on allegations of
Public violence.
All hostels should immediately be adequately and securely fenced. A strong
and efficient police presence should ensure that no arms are taken in or out of
hostels. It should also be in a position to protect all hostel dwellers from
external attack.22
Released: 29 April 1992
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
With regard to specific incidents of violence the Commission’s approach has
been to inquire into paradigm situations where, on the face of it, the
symptoms are common to other areas of violence. The Commission has at all
times been convinced, and remains so, that factual findings cannot be made
against individuals, groups or organizations on the basis of untested evidence.
For this reason the hearings of the Commission and of committees of the
Commission have been held in public and witnesses have been subjected to
cross-examination by lawyers representing interested parties. This procedure,
by its nature, is cumbersome and time consuming.
From the inception of its deliberations, the Commission has held the view that
one of its most important functions is to act as a catalyst in the process of
transforming the Police Force into a body that has the confidence, respect and
co-operation of the vast majority of the people of South Africa. The committee
established to inquire into the policing of mass demonstrations was conceived
as the point of entry – the first of a number of inquiries that would investigate
and make recommendations on important issues relating to policing in general.
If the Commission continues to be immersed in an increasing number of
inquiries into incidents of violence this important function will inevitably be
Then there is the issue concerning the safety of witnesses who testify before
the Commission. The murder of the leader of the “Black Cats” in Wesselton and
the apparent revenge murder of the mother of a renegade “Black Cat” witness
in the same township highlight this problem. These murders took place during
the course of the investigation into the “Black Cats” and are therefore likely to
severely diminish the willingness of members of the public to come forward
and testify.
In the above circumstances, a reconsideration of the role and functions of the
Commission has become urgent and inevitable. In particular, the Commission
has been forced by circumstances to report now on conclusions reached by it
at this stage. It would have preferred not to do so at what is clearly a
premature juncture in its work. However, the alternative would be to continue
inquiring with judicial detachment when urgent steps are required to contain
the violence.21
That in respect of disciplinary hearings suitably qualified and trained persons
conduct them and that management review existing training to ensure that an
appropriate quality and standard of decisions and disciplinary hearings be
That consideration be given by the mining industry to the appointment of a
suitable ombudsman acceptable to management and NUM to deal promptly
with complaints and facilitate agreements between NUM and management or
issues between them.
That the present negotiations between NUM and management to alleviate
pressures and tensions in the hostel be finalised as a matter of urgency.
That the present negotiations between NUM and management for an agreed
code of conduct relating to stay-aways be complete as a matter of urgency.20
Released: 28 February 1992
Committee: Mr G Steyn (Chairman); Adv D A Bregman; Mr R M M Zondo
The violence and murders which took place at the President Steyn Gold Mine in
Welkom on 3 November 1991 and which were associated with the national
stay-away called for by a number of organisations on 4 and 5 November 1991.
The terms of reference of the inquiry drafted in consultation with the National
Union of Mine Workers (NUM), Free State Consolidated Gold Mining
(Operation) Limited (Freegold), and the South African Police (SAP) were:
* To inquire into the cause or causes of the violence this erupted at the
President Steyn Gold Mine, Welkom, on and after 3 November 1991.
* Without derogating from the generality of the above mentioned
paragraphs, to inquire in particular into –
(i) the relevance to the violence of the hostel system;
(ii) the relevance to the violence of the national stay-away called by
COSATU, NACTU and other organisations on 4 and 5 November 1991;
(iii) the reason or reasons for the continuance and escalation of the
violence after 3 November 1991;
(iv) the identification and determination of the influence, if any, of
political and other organizations, both South African and foreign,
relevant to the violence;
(v) the relevance to the violence of the reaction of Freegold to the stayway and its communications thereof to its employees and of the
reaction thereto of NUM and its communication with its members
employed at the mine.
That NUM and management negotiate in an effort to reach agreement as to the
legitimacy of democratic political activity in the hostel. Such agreement ought
to have regard both to the reasonable needs of the worker and to the
reasonable needs of management, bearing in mind the prerogatives and
responsibilities of management.
That the control of meetings be a matter for negotiation between management
and NUM, with accountability and responsibility lines clearly laid down.19
Released: 19 February 1992
Committee: R J Goldstone (Chairman); Adv D J Rossouw, SC; Prof D van Zyl
The submission made to the Committee was that if IFP supporters had been
brought into Bruntville some of them would have been among the 172 arrested
by the Police. The representatives of both IFP and the Bruntville Peace
Committee supported an investigation concerning the places of work and
residence of the arrested men.
This investigation proved that, with one or two exceptions, all of the 172
persons arrested were hostel dwellers and that the vast majority were
employed by Mooi River Textiles. It must therefore be concluded that IFP
supporters were not transported into Bruntville from elsewhere to participate in
the fighting on 4 December 1991.
The committee also used the opportunity occasioned by its visit to Mooi River
on 14 February 1992 to enquire into the progress of the peace process in Mooi
River and Bruntville. It was disappointed to find that the peace process had not
gone as smoothly as planned. There appear to have been a series of
misunderstandings between the parties which had led to meetings not being
attended. Discussions with both local ANC and Inkatha leaders suggested that
the misunderstandings could be removed and that it remains possible that a
local dispute resolution committee will be established. The committee stressed
that patience and tolerance were needed in the peace process that direct
communication with the other party was preferable to relying on rumour or
press reports and that such communications should be relayed for the
information of all residents.
In the discussions with the local leaders it became apparent that the carrying
of weapons was continuing and that it was contributing to tensions both in
Bruntville and in Mooi River. Thus, on one occasion, Inkatha supporters had
been denied access by the ANC to the community hall where they were to have
been addressed by the Chairman of the Regional Peace Committee for Natal.
The reason given by the ANC was that the Inkatha supporters had arrived
armed with spears and that the ANC had feared for the safety of its own
supporters and for that of children in a neighbouring school. The IFP in turn
alleged that its supporters had to be armed in order to protect themselves
from the concealed weapons carried by members of the ANC.18
The Commission recommends further that the South African Police make every
endeavour to bring the perpetrators of the violence committed at Mooi River to
justice and that the Attorney-General be requested to render assistance in that
more men participated in the second attack. Estimates of witnesses varied
from 400 to 1 000. They were similarly armed.
After the second attack the Police arrested 172 IFP supporters and confiscated
their weapons. They comprised the following: 19 Zulu shields 2 pangas 1
home-made firearm 16 bush knives 75 knobkerries 69 sticks 144 spears.
According to an ANC witness, a short time prior to the second attack he saw
certain IFP leaders from outside Mooi River/Bruntville arrive at the hostel,
followed by a bus-like vehicle that was towed by a mechanical horse. The
suggestion made on the strength of that evidence is that IFP supporters were
brought in from outside to participate in the attack on the township. The
presence of the bus was denied by the hostel dwellers. The police witnesses
did not see such a vehicle in Bruntville.
It was indicated to the Committee that if lasting solutions and peace do not
come to Mooi River, the only large employer, Mooi River Textiles, may well
have to move its factory to another area. This would be disastrous for the
people of Mooi River. Self-interest should dictate to the local leadership that
they must work together to create a more Peaceful and acceptable climate
Government agencies at all levels can only provide a framework and an
infrastructure for this. At the end of the day it is the people themselves,
through their leaders, who will determine the success or failure of any
initiatives taken in order to achieve a successful result.
Support from all appropriate quarters for the Local Dispute Resolution
Committee and the disarming of the people of Bruntville are essential
prerequisites for lasting peace in the area.
It was submitted on behalf of the Bruntville Peace Committee that the
Commission should recommend that the conduct of certain members of the
Police Force at Mooi River be referred to the Attorney-General. However,
evidence led before the Committee did not, in the opinion of the Commission,
establish any prima facie unlawful conducts on the part of any police officer
save in regard to the improper use of a forfeited vehicle with false number
plates. The Commission recommends that appropriate steps be taken to
prevent the recurrence of such conduct and that the South African Police
consider disciplinary action against the police officers who were involved.16
Released: 19 February 1992
Committee: R J Goldstone (Chairman); Adv D J Rossouw SC; Prof D van Zyl
Mooi River is situated some 70 km north-west of Pietermaritzburg. It is a small
town serving a farming community. On the south-western side of the town is
Bruntville, a Black township that was established in 1938. At present there are
between 10 000 and 14 000 persons living in the township. Many of the former
inhabitants have left in consequence of the violence in the area.
Prior to November 1990 there was generally peace and tranquillity at Mooi
River and Bruntville. Since then the inhabitants of Bruntville have become
highly politicised. There are broadly two groups – Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
supporters and African National Congress (ANC) supporters. The hostel is
controlled by IFP supporters and the remainder of Bruntville by ANC
supporters. Workers at Mooi River Textiles who support the IFP are members
of UWUSA, the trade union established by the IFP, and those who support the
ANC are members of SACTWU, the trade union affiliated to COSATU.
In the submission to the Commission from the Legal Resources Centre on
behalf of the Bruntville Peace Committee (which, broadly speaking, identifies
with the ANC) dated 30 October 1991, it was alleged that from November 1990
to October 1991 there were at least 60 separate attacks or incidents of
intimidation by the hostel dwellers upon the township residents. Reference was
made to only four attacks by the residents on the hostel. On the other hand,
the representatives of the KwaZulu Government, who were present at the
inquiry, handed in a list of 59 alleged violent incidents by ANC supporters
against IFP supporters.
It appears to be undisputed that IFP-supporters launched two attacks on
dwellers in Bruntville Township – the first at about 18h 00 on 3 December 1991
and the second at about 04h30 the following morning. The first attack left four
persons dead and the second some 15 dead. It is also not disputed that an IFP
supporter, Nbuyiselwa Jophannes Mbata, died from a gunshot wound sustained
by him on 3 December 1991. According to the IFP witnesses he was shot in the
vicinity of the hostel. It was submitted on behalf of the Bruntville Peace
Committee that he might have been shot elsewhere and thereafter moved to
outside the hostel where he died. However, nothing material turns on this
issue. Some few hundred men participated in the first attack by IFP
supporters. They were armed with assegais, sticks and knobkerries. Many15
A fourth Committee of the Commission was established during January 1992 to
inquire into violence in relation to public transport in South Africa. The need for
such an inquiry arose because of the high incidence of violence, including a
number of deaths, on trains in certain urban areas and what has been referred
to as “taxi wars”.
The Commission has no doubt that its very existence is serving an important
purpose. The fact that there is an independent body which can receive and ask
for information in an area which has hitherto been one of secrecy in which
rumours have abounded is itself encouraging. The fact that the Commission
operates in public stimulates debate on these topics and that is also to the
benefit of the public, the Government and political parties and organisations.
The Commission is of the view that prompt establishment of and action by its
committees may result in the decrease of violence. However, the Prevention of
Public Violence and Intimidation Act, 1991, requires committees to have at
least three members, one of whom must be one of the five members of the
Commission. All the members of the Commission are at present serving on
committees and consequently the Commission at this stage is unable to inquire
into several situations of violence which require its urgent attention. The
Commission recommends that the Act be amended as soon as possible by
removing the requirements that a minimum of three persons be appointed to
committees and that a member of the Commission should serve on every
The following section contains summaries / abstracts of reports
released by the Commission.
Released: 24 January 1992
R J Goldstone (Chairman of the Commission)
An outline of the Commission’s initial workload; its broad mandate; and the
setting up of various investigative Committees.
The Commission held its first meeting on 28 and 29 October 1991. It discussed
its terms of reference and considered the manner in which it should approach
the broad mandate given to it.
Over 500 written requests for information concerning public violence and
intimidation were sent by the Commission to all organisations which might
have information relating thereto. These included all political parties,
universities, newspaper editors, local authorities and civic associations. In
response the Commission received relevant and useful information.
On 29 October 1991, the Commission established a committee of inquiry into
the violence and alleged intimidation in Thokoza, on the East Rand, since 8
September 1991. The allegations appeared to the Commission to reflect
aspects of violence which had been reported from various parts of South Africa
in preceding months.
In the middle of November 1991 the Commission established a second
Committee to inquire into the violence and murders which took place at the
President Steyn Gold Mine in Welkom on 3 November 1991 and which were
associated with the national stay-away called for by a number of organisations
on 4 and 5 November 1991. The terms of reference of this Committee include
the relevance to the violence of the hostel system and of the national stayaway.
During December 1991 a third Committee was established by the Commission
to inquire into the procedures relating to the organisation of mass
demonstrations, the conduct thereof and the role and duties of the police and
other security forces.13
22 April 1994
ON 27 JULY 1993
11 May 1994
26 July 1994
10 August 1994
24 August 1994
27 October 1994
27 May 1993
1 June 1993
29 June 1993
13 July 1993
11 August 1993
26 July 1993
5 October 1993
11 November 1993
12 October 1993
18 March 1994
18 March 1994
18 March 1994
21 April 199411
28 February 1992
APRIL 1992
10 June 1992
10 June 1992
2 July 1992
29 September 1992
27 October 1992
23 January 1993
Detective Constable B R J King; Detective Constable F S Luis; Detective
Constable J L Ndlovu; Detective Constable B Nel; Detective Constable P L
Adv J Hiemstra; Adv C Koenig; Mr J Moses; Adv T Norman; Adv J Slabbert; Mr
J Van den Berg.
Adv J J du Toit; Adv (Dr) J P Pretorius.
Francois van Eeden; Glenn Cuthbertson; Christo de Vos.
Miss M M Badenhorst; Mr C J Badenhorst; Miss L Botha; Mrs P C Britz; Miss E C
Bruwer; Mrs L de Beer; Mr I Khumalo; Mrs S Kirsten; Mr J Loots; Mr J P
Mabena; Miss M Maritz; Miss K Mhlaba; Mrs E A Pelton; Mr H K Pelo; Miss C
van Coller.9
Colonel A F Eager; Colonel H M Heslinga; Lieutenant-Colonel A G Campher;
Lieutenant-Colonel P R Claasen; Lieutenant-Colonel F K Dutton; LieutenantColonel F F B Marx; Lieutenant-Colonel P A J Myburg; Lieutenant-Colonel L W H
van Brakel; Major P du Plessis; Major J F Haynes; Major E van Vuuren; Captain
K F Swarts; Lieutenant J G A Labuschagne; Lieutenant N S Mabusha;
Lieutenant S Naick; Lieutenant B Naidu; Lieutenant T Pienaar; Lieutenant J
Steenkamp; Lieutenant D B Strydom; Lieutenant M van Gent; Lieutenant M
Vermaak; Lieutenant M K Vilakazi; Lieutenant C E Weststraat; Detective
Warrant Officer L F Coetzee; Detective Warrant Officer J C Froneman;
Detective Warrant Officer O T Govindasamy; Detective Warrant Officer
Captain-Hastibeer; Detective Warrant Officer J H Kruger; Detective Warrant
Officer F J Laux; Detective Warrant Officer K C Leseur; Detective Warrant
Officer A E Makhavhu; Detective Warrant Officer T T Mana; Detective Warrant
Officer M J Moremi; Detective Warrant Officer S P Msibi; Detective Warrant
Officer J P Neethling; Detective Warrant Officer R Rangayan; Detective Warrant
Officer E M Scheepers; Detective Warrant Officer S S Seakgwa; Detective
Warrant Officer S Singh; Detective Warrant Officer L J Tsumane; Detective
Warrant Officer J van Heerden; Detective Sergeant E G Cilliers; Detective
Sergeant V Dorosamy; Detective Sergeant M D Fikizolo; Detective Sergeant M
V Gumede; Detective Sergeant Z E Jamba; Detective Sergeant M K Kennedy;
Detective Sergeant B P Mhlongo; Detective Sergeant B R Mhlongo; Detective
Sergeant A Morkel; Detective Sergeant J M Motloli; Detective Sergeant B A J
Mpokotho; Detective Sergeant C B Nxumalo; Detective Sergeant S L J Rebelo;
Detective Sergeant A S Shezi; Detective Sergeant Z Sibisi; Detective Sergeant
P M Van der Merwe; Detective Sergeant M J van Rensburg; Detective Sergeant
P Wiehahn; Detective Lance Sergeant C J Brits; Detective Lance Sergeant R de
Deugd; Detective Lance Sergeant C Frieslaar; Detective Lance Sergeant S
Grewan; Detective Lance Sergeant P J Molefe; Detective Lance Sergeant J M
Moloto; Detective Lance Sergeant B C Myeni; Detective Lance Sergeant V W
Mzamo; Detective Lance Sergeant J H Nepgen; Detective Constable T E Kabai;8
(Zimbabwe); R Simmonds (Canada); G Simms (Britain); H Tomta (Norway); J
van Tonder (Namibia); A Wells (Australia).
Mr B Ashman; Mr P Botbijl; Mr R Conroy; Adv J Fabricius; Mr D Geard; Mr M H
Hales; Mr O D Hart; Mr B D Hitchings; Mr K C Hojem; Mr P Horn; Mr S S V
Khampepe; Mr P S Kruger; Mr E Makgaba; Mr D Pretorius; Adv W Sceales; Mr
F S P Snyman; Mr N Tunbridge; Mr J F van Niekerk; Mr E van Rooyen.7
Justice Richard Goldstone (Chairman); Adv. Danie Rossouw, SC (ViceChairman); Adv. Solly Sithole; Ms. Lillian Baqwa; and Mr. Gert Steyn.
Adv M A Albertus; Adv F C Bam; Adv D Bregman SC; Mr N Coetzer; Mr A J L
Geyser; Dr A Gildenhuys; Mr P Mkize; Mr S Moshidi; Adv B M Ngoepe; Adv R W
Nugent; Mr L Pitje; Mr J S N Roberts; Mr R S K Tucker; Prof. D van Zyl Smit;
Mr L S van Zyl; Mr S van Zyl; Adv R M Wise; Mr R Zondo.
Prof P B Heymann; Mr L P Brown; Prof Dr C Fijnaut; Prof Dr D H Foster; Prof T
Geldenhuys; Adv C Y Louw; Dr J L Olivier; Prof C D Shearing; Mr C J Van der
Merwe; Prof P A J Waddington.
Mr C F C Ruff; Dr J Elklit; Prof T Geldenhuys; Mr R A Gould; Prof W J Kamba;
Mr I Klynsmith; Ms D Nupen; Prof Dr O E H M Nxumalo; Dr J L Olivier; Prof C D
Shearing; Ambassador T E Stiggner-Scott.
G Aarvold (Britain); V Antunes (Portugal); P Biehl (Denmark); J J Biotteau
(France); O Böhmke (Germany); F Bouma (Netherlands); V de Sousa
(Portugal); K Frimpong (Botswana); C Hendriks (Netherlands); W Hove
(Denmark); D Jackson (Britain); C Kooijmans (Netherlands); T Laidlaw
(Britain); J Mokgaoanyi (Botswana); G Muwudzuri (Zimbabwe); M K Nyamena6
During its first year of activity the Commission had no efficient means of
investigating incidents or events relevant to public violence and intimidation.
After due deliberation and consultation with the relevant parties it was decided
to establish five investigation units to be stationed at Johannesburg, Durban,
East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town respectively. They became
operational on 1 October 1992.
The mandate of the units was to investigate incidents of public violence and
intimidation in South Africa, the nature and causes thereof and the persons
involved therein.
The investigation units enabled the Commission to gather information more
efficiently and quickly than it had previously been able to do. Before their
establishment the Commission relied more on the submissions received from
various parties. After the establishment of its units the Commission used them
to do additional groundwork before deciding whether or not to launch enquiries
into specific incidents. Numerous allegations were made with regard to the
existence of a third force. The Commission instructed the units to investigate
the allegations and, in particular, to seek to establish by credible evidence
whether a third force existed and, if so, its sponsorship.5
The Commission’s mandate related to events which took place after 17 July
1991, the date of commencement of the statute which established the
Commission. Only to the extent that prior events were relevant to post-July
1991 acts, was the Commission entitled to investigate them.
At its first meeting on 28 and 29 October 1991, the Commission decided on
the following broad guidelines in which it would approach the mandate given to
(a) To emphasise its independence and in particular its independence from
the Government and any political party;
(b) That a primary function of the Commission was to direct and co-ordinate
the gathering of facts relating to public violence and intimidation in the
(c) That the Commission would not investigate past violence and intimidation
save in so far as it might be directly relevant to the prevention of future
violence and intimidation; and
(d) That the work of the Commission, save in special circumstances, would be
conducted in public.
The objectives of the Commission were to inquire into the phenomenon of
public violence and intimidation in the Republic, the nature and causes thereof,
and what persons were involved therein; inquire into any steps that should be
taken in order to prevent public violence and intimidation; and to make
recommendations to the State President in respect of public violence or
In an era in which domestic spying, indefinite detention, and legally-sanctioned
torture were employed in the interests of “national security”, South Africa’s
transition from apartheid to democracy might serve as an important reminder
of the dangers of an unfettered state security apparatus. Public violence was
escalating throughout South Africa in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a
result of the National Party government’s policy of Apartheid. This forced the
government of FW De Klerk to sign a National Peace Accord with liberation
movement organisations and political parties, including the two largest, the
African National Congress and Inkatha Freedom Party. The three structures of
that initiative were the National Peace Committee, the National Peace
Secretariat and the creation of a commission to investigate violence in South
The establishment of the Standing Commission of Inquiry Regarding the
Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation in October 1991 was one of the
key episodes in the South African transition. Led by Justice Richard Goldstone,
who has subsequently served as the chief prosecutor of the International
Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the Goldstone
Commission made the first major breakthrough on third force activities of
South Africa’s security forces carried out in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Specifically, the Goldstone Commission unveiled the operations at Vlakplaas, a
farm outside Pretoria, by a unit of the South African Security Police that
utilised surrogates to commit political murders during Apartheid as well as
during the transition to democracy. These revelations pierced the seemingly
impregnable edifice of South Africa’s state security establishment and
facilitated the transition to democracy in April 1994.
The Goldstone Commission’s focus on shedding light on gross human rights
violations also set the stage for the national Truth and Reconciliation
Commission, which met between 1995 and 1998.3
The Commission of Inquiry Regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and
Intimidation, under the chairmanship of Justice Richard Goldstone, was
appointed by President FW de Klerk on 24 October 1991, to investigate
incidents of public violence and intimidation in South Africa prior to the 1994
general election. Other commissioners were Adv. Danie Rossouw, SC (ViceChairman), Adv. Solly Sithole, Ms. Lillian Baqwa, and Mr. Gert Steyn. The
commissioners were appointed for a statutory period of three years.
The Commission became commonly known as the Goldstone Commission.
During its three year life-span the Commission, in terms of its founding Act, No
139 of 1991, presented 47 reports, usually following public inquiries,
containing a large number of recommendations.
The Commission closed on 27 October 1994.2
Largely as a result of an initiative of the Norwegian Government, the State
President agreed to the establishment of an institute of the Commission. The
Institute for the Study of Public Violence was established in June 1993.
Commonly known as the Goldstone Institute, its main role was the
documentation of material relating to public violence and intimidation as well
as research. The institute had a sophisticated computer capability and was a
unique source of information of value not only to the Commission but to the
general public and, in particular, the media.
The Norwegian Government funded the computer requirements of the Institute
and provided the experts who were so essential in setting it up. The
Commission paid for the accommodation of the Institute and the salaries of its
officials and staff. When the Goldstone Commission closed, the assets of the
Institute were transferred to a company not for gain duly registered under
section 21 of the South African Companies Act of 1973.
In 1994 the Commission and the trustees of the Institute resolved that the
Institute should become an independent non-governmental organisation, the
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) and that its field of
operation be extended to cover all aspects of human rights in South Africa. In
its final report of 27 September 1994, the Commission wrote:
“The Institute for the Study of Public Violence has been registered as the
‘Human Rights Institute of South Africa’ (HURISA). The Commission believes
that the Institute’s decision to focus on human rights in South Africa comes at
an appropriate time and that the Institute with its excellent facilities will render
a unique contribution in the development of such a culture.”
Since then HURISA established itself internationally as a human rights training
organisation, and has expanded its training to the rest of the African continent.1
About the Human Rights Institute of South Africa
Investigation Units
Members of the Commission
Members of Committees
Multi-National Panels
International Observers
Observers with Investigation Units
Members of Investigation Units
Counsel for the Commission
Secretaries of the Commission
Members of Staff
List of Reports
Summaries of Reports

Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) makes inroads in strengthening a stronger voice for accountable human rights response in South Africa.

HURISA Human Rights Forum was identified during the launch of the National Report on the 25th Anniversary of human rights and democracy in South Africa, facilitated by HURISA on 7th August 2019 at Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

This Human Rights Forum was provoked by the communities’ desperation for action beyond dialogue and will serve as a new vehicle to amplify Voices from the ground in keeping communities abreast and engaged on the human rights crisis facing the country and as well as contributing solutions to the crisis, to move forward from promise to delivery.

With this, a new paradigm shift is realised for holding government and communities accountable to human rights in the country. The launch of the national report brought together a diverse grouping of community activists from nine provinces of the country which includes human rights defenders, journalists, academicians, cultural and religious activists, some local municipalities and representatives from provincial government departments.

It was noted that while South Africa’s Constitutional framework is hailed as a beacon of hope and globally acclaimed as a progressive human rights instrument, unfortunately implementation has been thwarted by among others, extreme lack of political will displayed in the flagrant corruption in state institutions, constant breaches of public duties, increasing crime levels, brutal violence and gender based violence.

As for the current and past human rights violations that grapple the country, especially the backlog on service delivery, violation of freedom of association, assembly and expression including the lack of implementation of basic fundamental rights and irregular compliance with national, regional and international human rights obligations have resulted in violent protests that dubbed South Africa as a violent society.

The collapse of state institutions, break down of the rule of law and unaccountable leadership have sparked violent service delivery and the current anarchy in our society including uncontrollable crime. While the scourge of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups such as People with Albinism, People with Disability, Indigenous Group and Refugees requires concrete plan of action and supportive and competent law enforcement. In addition, substance abuse and crime amongst youth needs urgent attention in efforts to build South Africa’s future.

Unfortunately this bad picture of human rights mostly affects the poor who live in rural communities and whose situation remain unchanged. It is concerning that the suffering of the poor has been increased by the very leaders they have voted in power as many of them wonder why their situation remains unchanged even in the new human rights and democratic dispensation.

For example, many wonder why they continue to use pits toilets, why should children continue to walk long distances to school, and taught in inhuman and degrading school environment characterised by mud and dilapidated schools buildings and as well as the mushrooming of informal settlements.  They question the ruling party for the existence of extreme gaps of inequality between the haves and haves not, including a few privileged enjoying human rights and democracy in the country.

The political deployments, nepotism, violent political intolerance, exoneration of the perpetrators of human rights violations disregard commitment to tackle the past economic and social injustices. This picture negates the hard earned aspiration of a democratic country based on human dignity and freedom. It also attributes negatively on South Africa’s nascent human rights and democratic dispensation.

South Africa as world leader and non-permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council for the next two years calls for renewed commitment to upholding human rights obligation for upliftment of the poor and disadvantaged. This includes installation of competent and value based leadership at all spheres of governance and community. Furthermore, South Africa’s chairship to the African Union is positive and will need to maintain a good example of human rights and democracy for Africa’s upliftment and to be innovative towards achievement of the African Union Agenda 2063.

A High Level Panel is planned for 10 September 2019, where Retired Justice Richard Goldstone will be in conversation with key legal fraternal and civil society in search of a solution to the worrying state of human rights in South Africa.


For more information contact

Lindiwe Khoza

HURISA Communication and Advocacy

Mobile 063 319 8346



This research explores civil society monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16.10 on
fundamental freedoms and access to information, as well as SDG 17.17 on effective civil society
partnerships in South Africa. In particular, the research examines the five dimensions associated with
SDG 16.10 and SDG 17.17, which are: (1) freedom of association; (2) freedom of expression; (3) access
to information; (4) peaceful assembly; and (5) effective civil society partnerships.Read More


The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) is part of the Civic Space Initiative, implemented
by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
(ICNL), in partnership with ARTICLE 19 and the World Movement for Democracy, with support of the
Government of Sweden.
This report is wholly financed by the Government of Sweden. The Government of Sweden does not
necessarily share the opinions here within expressed. The author bears the sole responsibility for the
content.Read More

Comments Off on 2015 A National Assessment of the Enabling environment for Civil Society organisations in south africa

The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) is part of the Civic Space Initiative, implemented by CIVICUS: World
Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), in partnership with ARTICLE 19
and the World Movement for Democracy, with support of the Government of Sweden.
This report is wholly financed by the Government of Sweden. The Government of Sweden does not necessarily share the
opinions here within expressed. The author bears the sole responsibility for the content.Read More

Comments Off on #YahyaMustGo: Statement calling for Solidarity with the People of The Gambia

For Immediate Release: 19 January, 2017

 Today’s deadline for Jammeh Yahya to step down as president of the Gambia has been characterized by Yahya’s recalcitrant refusal to stand aside and allow the will of the Gambian people to be respected.

As civil society organisations, we are raising our voices in solidarity with the people of the Gambia who have since the 1994 military coup, which brought Jammeh to power, endured decades of dictatorship and systematic human rights violations under his rule, in particular stifling of freedom of expression, association and assembly. Journalist, human rights defenders and activists in the Gambia have continued to operate in hostile conditions, have been threatened by reprisals, abductions and experienced other gross human rights violations. Over the years under the Jammeh regime, there has been much outcry from the people of the Gambia for the world to pay attention to the various atrocities inflicted on them.

The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the apex regional human rights body of the continent, is located in the Gambia. It is a key human rights vehicle which ought to promote and protect human rights. Despite its close links to the country, the African Commission has over the years been very lenient in holding Yahya accountable for his authoritarian rule.

We have recently learnt that the Secretariat has been temporarily moved to Senegal in light of the political tensions in the country. More than thirty thousand civilians have also left the country. We must be reminded that, at the centre of conflict, women and children tend to be victims of numerous human rights violations; and that displacement further exacerbates their vulnerability. The repercussions of war are far reaching for many and the difficulty of sustaining peace post conflict can be overwhelming.

We call on the African Union to use mechanisms to address these types of situation. For example, the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance has been breached given the current situation. Article 23(4) applies here – Jammeh’s refusal to relinquish power constitutes a breach of the Charter, therefore appropriate sanctions must be imposed on him. We call on the African Union to put its weight towards the volatile Gambian situation in realisation of this article.

Furthermore, the AU Peace and Security Council will be presenting a State of Peace and Security Activity Report in Africa tomorrow. We are calling for this meeting to make sure that the state of the Gambia is put on the agenda and a resolution is adopted in this regard, ensuring that Yahya steps down. Being mindful of the fact that Africa is working towards silencing the guns, peaceful solutions should be explored outside of military interventions.  Africa must step forward and actualise solutions befitting African problems.

The people of the Gambia have lived under Yahya Jammeh’s authoritarian rule for two decades, and have done so peacefully. Now, they have now spoken. Jammeh must respect their voice.

We applaud Botswana for announcing that it no longer recognises Jammeh as president of the Gambia; and we urge all AU member states to do the same; and also to recognise Adama Barrow as the President of the Gambia as soon as he has been sworn in.

We remain in solidarity with the people of the Gambian people, in their quest to have their democracy respected without the need for resorting to preventable violence.

Statement prepared by the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) and the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (CHR-UP), Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC) and supported by CIVICUS.